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Lessons Learned: VA Cloud Email Termination

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Cloud Computing Evolves: An Interview with Mats Johansson

By G C Network | June 6, 2019

Recently, Ericsson Digital released an amazing report on Edge Computing and 5G. In it, they explained how distributed cloud computing is paving the way for the future of network communications. They also advised telecommunications operators, not to wait for 5G but they should build tomorrow’s networks today! Given the cost, effort and focus such a commitment…

The IoT Nexus: Bosch Connected World 2019 in Berlin

By G C Network | May 11, 2019

Next week, I will be influencing #LikeABosch as I accept an invitation from the company to attend Bosch ConnectedWorld 2019 (BCW19) in Berlin, Germany. This is one of the world’s largest international forums for the Internet of Things (IoT) and brings together the best minds to energize the co-creation of connected products and solutions invented for life. The conference,…

Survive and Thrive With Digital Transformation

By G C Network | April 17, 2019

First cloud computing then multi-cloud. How can we get ahead of this digital transformation nightmare? These are the laments heard in conference rooms and board meeting around the world. While the goal seems simple, adopting and migrating to a cloud service provider requires much more than executive willingness and a sharp IT organization. A lot…

The “George Jetson” of Today

By G C Network | April 13, 2019

He grew up in Silicon Valley, landed his first job at Apple Computers, was introduced to Nobel Prize winners by his dad and today, he takes a self-driving car to work so that he can squeeze in a few morning conference calls with the US east coast Team. Is this George Jetson!? No. It’s just…

MWC19: Where Telecommunications and Cloud Meet

By G C Network | March 23, 2019

As a cloud solution architect, my passion is learning the details about how cloud computing uniquely supports specific business cases. This curiosity is what drove my excitement when Ericsson invited me to work with them during Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. As the largest mobile event in the world, MWC Barcelona brings together the latest…

Tulane University SoPA Selects “Architechting Cloud Computing Solutions”

By G C Network | February 16, 2019

Last week, Packt Publishing announced that “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” by Kevin L. Jackson and Scott Goessling was selected for use by the Tulane University School of Professional Advancement, Applied Computing Systems & Technology Program as the textbook for their mandatory Enterprise Architecture – Hardware course starting Spring Semester 2019. I am proud and honored to be trusted by such a prestigious institution. Being an “Amazon…

5G Wireless Technology Connecting Healthcare

By G C Network | February 16, 2019

Healthcare is in the middle of massive change. Called digital transformation by many, this term describes the industry’s pursuit of the many promises offered by connected patients, connected caregivers, and connected hospitals. While the goals of this transformation are many and varied, a recent HIMAA Media survey revealed the top four as: Seeking improved quality of care…

Maria Lensing: The Network Platform for Healthcare’s Future

By G C Network | February 16, 2019

As a girl, Maria and her family traveled to Memphis, Tennessee to get cancer treatment for her sick brother. The miracle she observed, as the healthcare providers saved her brother’s life, ignited a passion for healthcare. Unfortunately, that passion didn’t apply to blood, so she went into electrical engineering and biomedical engineering, eventually falling in…

How “Big Iron” Does “Big Regulation”

By G C Network | January 10, 2019

According to Verizon, there were over there were over 53,000 security incidents in 2017, with over 2,200 of those identified as confirm data breaches. A Ponemon Institute study also showed that companies experiencing a data breach took an average of 147 days to detect that breach. These statistics serve a key motivator of Stuart McIrvine, Director…

Mainframe Synergies for Digital Transformation

By G C Network | January 10, 2019

In July  of 2018, Broadcom announced its intentions to acquire CA Technologies. In the press release, Hock Tan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Broadcom, said: “This transaction represents an important building block as we create one of the world’s leading infrastructure technology companies. With its sizeable installed base of customers, CA is uniquely positioned…

According to a Federal Computer Week article by Frank Konkel, The Department of Veterans Affairs terminated its five-year, $36 million cloud computing contract for email and calendaring services with HP Enterprise Services. Citing a material change in the agency’s requirements, VA officials declined to elaborate on the requirement changes that were actually made. Although I have no personal connection or first hand knowledge of the specifics of this deployment, this failure was apparently caused by failure to first build and understand the business case for supporting the cloud transition.

 “In November — after the agency announced its cloud deal with HP Enterprise Services – VA’s Deputy CIO for Architecture, Strategy and Design, Paul Tibbits, told an audience at 1105 Media’s Enterprise Architecture Conference that he questioned the cost-effectiveness of moving to the cloud.

Tibbits was not discussing this project in particular, but rather stressing the broader need for real use cases and hard-nosed business assessments. “It is not 100 percent clear that expenses go down if we jump into the cloud,” he said. “The revenue stream is up there in neon lights, we have got to figure out if that is going to save us money or not.”

Cloud computing is not about technology. It is primarily a change in the delivery and consumption of information technology services which can radically change an organizations business model. As highlighted in many expert guides, including my book “GovCloud: Cloud Computing for the Business of Government“, the first step in any cloud transition strategy should be the identification, development and commitment to the cloud computing business model.

I also believe that there were at least two other contributing factors to this unfortunate action:

  • Failure to first establish and specify infrastructure security requirements for the software-as-a-service offering. Although FedRAMP is not mandatory until 2014, it provides an efficient and repeatable methodology for establishing a common cloud computing security baseline for all federal agencies
  • Failure to adequately address cultural and change management challenges associated with the cloud computing business model.  If the new business model wasn’t firmly understood and communicated throughout the organization with a focused change management process, success would be very difficult to achieve.

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