There was an interesting article last week where the Obama administration was considering NASA as a prototype for its outsource plans and support for the cloud. It is a good read, but in the end, it highlights the confusion in the industry around cloud computing and what this really means ( to different people ). In this case, it feels that NASA would be providing classic outsourcing capabilities rather than building a cloud based platform/operating system where people could build, host and deploy applications.
However, the more interesting point is that the government is thinking about this. They are normally the last to the table, but with the current economic climate, reducing cost and boosting operating efficiency is becoming really important, which means that this economy could be a phenomenal catalyst to drive enterprises ( again which are typically the last to move ) to really look at the cloud as an excellent cost saving alternative.
Today through the Microsoft BPOS offering, you can already take your mail infrastructure and the ITPRO’s that manage them, and completely outsource this, with potential high cost savings (calculator). The future is placing all your applications on one of the new bread of Cloud operating systems such as Windows Azure, Sales Force, Google.
The hope is that this economy with drive more people to pursue the cloud and hence drive significantly more investment in this area from the companies building these new platforms.