DoD Cloud Challenges

Cloud computing is very similar to Service Oriented Architectures. The issue with Cloud concepts has nothing to do specifically with technology. It has everything to do with people, process, methods in regard to policy, standard, guidance and practice. The only way to successful employ a cloud strategy is to clearly articulate the value to the stakeholders.

The DoD is complicated because stakeholders in lower enterprise or domain tiers have a significant amount of control of their domain. Historically the CIO’s office has sought to inspire stakeholders but in a lot of cases the stakeholders didn’t engage. The reason was and is “What’s in it for me?” If the CIO’s office or anyone else for that matter can’t show why there is value from the top to the bottom of the enterprise cloud strategies will remain strategies and suffer the same fate as web services.

One example of a success from my perspective is Forge.mil but “Forge” as I like to call it is still almost viral. Additionally, if a group already has a capability (siloed or not) they will always lean on what they believe they (individually) can control. I find that talking to leaders they get hung up on the technical aspects of the capability. It is a common theme. So, what is the real problem that you are trying to solve?

We have to look at this as a people problem NOT a technical problem. The problem is acculturation and understanding in a multi-dimentional capacity what capabilities mean to the individual stakeholder. How to maximize assets that we have as a collective enterprise in order to minimize costs to the individual. Essentially, it is a collective mentality.

This scratches the surface of what we need to examine. There needs to be clear and powerful leadership in this.