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Success with cloud applications calls for a strong data-privacy policy

Public agency CIOs and IT executives are joining the move to cloud applications, while making sure their data privacy policy remains strong.

As I’ve stated previously on this blog, public-sector technology stories hold particular resonance for me, given my background in community journalism. And, as my colleagues and I gear up for some increased cloud computing coverage, Karen Wilkinson’s posting on the Government Technology Web site about cloud computing in the public sector grabbed my attention.

Utah CIO Steve Fletcher, who pushed the state into starting a private cloud for e-mail and Web applications, said that agencies should consider four main points before pursuing cloud applications:

  • Security
  • Data ownership
  • Transferability
  • Disaster recovery

When it comes to the cloud, officials often have a lot of compliance-related concerns. For example, officials in Los Angeles considering whether to switch email services to Google’s Gmail asked who would be able to see the information transferred via the new service. To resolve the concern, the contract clearly stipulates that Google employees cannot read the e-mails they manage, said Kevin Crawford, assistant general manager of L.A.’s Information Technology Agency.

A lot of organizations turn to cloud applications to achieve cost savings or to move on from out-of-date legacy systems, but public agencies need to be especially patient about achieving ROI. Success is often measured in terms of more efficient internal operations that lead to smoother interactions between the public and the agencies, not only in dollars and cents, Crawford believes.

I hear a lot about cloud applications from vendors, but I love seeing these real CIOs and IT leaders talking about their decision points, challenges and ultimate success with cloud applications, as well as their tips for syncing the cloud with a data privacy policy. If you’re an enterprise CIO or IT leader with thoughts or experience in these areas, please get in touch with me! And if you’re seeking this information yourself, visit our sister site,

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