Labor Department moves to the cloud



Let's hope so, considering all of the Department of Labor's sensitive financial information is at risk if a hacker finds a way to high-jack the servers. That's the main worry for federal agencies thinking of moving their data to clouds built by Amazon, Google, Microsoft, IBM, Salesforce.com and others targeting government business.

Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra has been a vocal advocate of cloud computing since he joined the administration last year. He says it's an easy way to save money and improve efficiency. But there are fears that sensitive and even classified information isn't safe on servers maintained remotely by other entities. Microsoft, in fact, has proposed legislation to update privacy and security laws to boost confidence in the cloud technology.

Migrating all that data to the Web and teaching employees how to access it isn't a quick process. GCE said it took 18 months to get the Labor Department floating on the clouds. Imagine how long it will take other agencies that are just now starting to think about making the shift. In another 18 months, technologies will probably be drastically different.