A Shift Towards Cloud Computing
Mr. Chris Cruz, Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the state of California shared his views on Cloud Computing for transparency to foster sharing and pooling of computing resources in the public sector. Mr. Chris Cruz talked about how the state of California´s motivation on transparency and its engagement towards it´s citizens to unlock government data for innovation and collaborative space through its open data portal.
However, the term Cloud Computing is not well understood and has become a buzz-word and something abstract we really don’t fully understand. Cloud Computing has achieved a lot of attention in both the private and public sector and featured as a new revolution in the IT industry through endless articles and blog posts of how it can potentially transform how we use computers today .
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud Computing is a combination of computing as a service, applications and the resources available from data centers from remote locations available over the internet, which is referred to as the cloud . Some of the benefits is that you pay-for-use basis for the applications and resources used, and it is easy to scale up or down to fit your needs .
The Cloud can be either private, public or a mixture of the two. A public cloud is owned and managed by a third party and offers Cloud Services on-demand, hence a private cloud is owned and managed by a single enterprises and managed internally .
The service from Cloud-based applications is usually owned, operated and maintained by a third party and run on remote data centers connected via the internet. The service is divided into three main groups; Software as a Service (SaaS), which is a cloud based applications usually run through a web browser; Platform as a Service (PaaS), a complete cloud-based environment supported by a third party without the requirements of hosting and maintiaining your own data center; and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), which is providing computing resources such as storage etc. on a pay-for-use basis .
State of California & Cloud Computing
Mr. Cruz talked about how the state of California is today consisting of more than 133 datacenters distributed all over the state, and have already started their shift towards the cloud infrastructure. The yearly cost for hosting the IT infrastructure in the State of California is between 3 and 5 Billion USD annually. By centralizing the datacenters into 3 main centers and pool the resources in the cloud will reduce the cost significantly and improve the cyber security.
The State of California is already offering high value datasets free to the public through their Open Data Portal https://data.ca.gov/, and believes in unlocking government data to engage with the public to create innovative solutions is the key for growth. By the end of 2018, more than 425 datasets will be available to the public. The state of California is also releasing its State Innovation Lab http://innovate.ca.gov/, which Mr. Cruz referred to as the Sandbox for government employees to collaborate and share their solution in the CalCloud environment.
A Shift towards Cloud Computing
There is a significant shift coming and a study done by McKinsey & Company shows that 23% of enterprises use virtualized environments provided by a cloud in 2015, and they predict it will increase to 57% by 2018 .
There is significant effort done by the government towards transparency and to foster collaboration between the private and public sector, and developments shows the commitment of the State of California to move its IT infrastructure to the cloud and digital services to the public. Exciting times are coming and we all need to buckle up for the shift that has already started!
 “Above the Clouds: A Berkeley View of Cloud Computing”, http://ow.ly/mrKPK§
 “NIST definition of cloud computing”, http://ow.ly/sSiW301Af6p
 “Getting Ahead of the Cloud”, file:///Users/MacAir/Downloads/MOG7_Cloud%20(2).pdf
 “What is Cloud Computing”, https://aws.amazon.com/what-is-cloud-computing/
 “McKinsey Predicts Enterprises Are Adopting Cloud Faster As IT Shits from Build to Buy”, https://www.forbes.com/sites/louiscolumbus/2016/09/17/mckinsey-predicts-enterprises-are-adopting-cloud-faster-as-it-shifts-from-build-to-buy/#2bc8c9e2150b