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CIA was Headed to an Enterprise Cloud All Along: Jill Tummler Singer

The Deputy CIO of the CIA gave unique insights into CIA's technology strategy on Tuesday in Washington, DC

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"I believe commercial solutions - whether its Google’s cloud or Amazon’s web services - may be perfect for many companies. But some corporations and government agencies are not going to be comfortable outsourcing their information and services to the Internet-based cloud," said Jill Tummler Singer, Deputy CIO of the Central Intelligence Agency, on Tuesday, at SYS-CON's 1st Annual GovIT Expo, in the event's opening keynote.

"For agencies like mine," Singer (pictured below) continued,  "and for many corporations, keeping such precious gems in our own possession is a foregone conclusion."


Jill Tummler Singer keynoting at 1st Annual GovIT Conference & Expo, Oct. 6

The answer, for the CIA at least, is what Singer calls Enterprise Cloud Computing.

Enterprise Cloud Computing as defined by Singer is behind the firewall and contained within a business enterprise (one company, one agency, or one supply chain, for example). 

"A true cloud environment contains many layers and extends beyond the compute platform," she noted.  "To gain early advantage in Enterprise Cloud Computing, you need at least a storage cloud and a compute/processing cloud sitting on top of your network cloud.  However, this requires each cloud user to bring database, application, web services, and security services with them.  You’ll achieve goodness in this scenario but you may not actually achieve faster, better, cheaper, and safer overall IT."

"If I look back at CIA’s technology strategy for the past few years, we were headed to an Enterprise Cloud all along, even if we didn’t call it that," Singer said. Virtualized servers were also a core strategy for CIA, she added.

"I suspect that most medium- and large-organizations have similar technology plans that also dovetail nicely into Enterprise Cloud Computing," said Singer, adding:

"Don’t think of the Cloud as a perpendicular technology approach aimed at derailing your current plans.  It isn’t.  Instead, think of the Cloud as an energy booster welded onto the side of your existing plans to get you to your goal state faster through commercial, commodity technologies and approaches.

Enterprise Cloud Computing allows you to cut the ball-and-chain of the past or release the albatross from around your neck. You’re no longer stuck with slow, lethargic, antiquated solutions.  Enterprise Cloud Computing allows your company to break away, soar, and be successful."

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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