November 16, 2009Doug Hadden
This is section 3.1.3 of a series of blog entries creating a Government IFMIS Technology Evaluation Guide. This includes information to assist in evaluating IFMIS options and the technology requirements for FreeBalance IFMIS implementations. These series will be combined with feedback to produce a comprehensive Technology Evaluation Guide to be published on our web site
Computing is rapidly becoming a utility. Cloud computing enables organizations to quickly scale applications by leveraging large computing infrastructures. Applications are typically hosted in a large data center, often deployed as a service – Software as a Service (SaaS). There are variations on this model such as providing a technical infrastructure for applications that are typically deployed “on premises”.
Cloud computing revenue is expected to rise from $17.4 Billion in 2009 to $44.2 Billion in 2013 according to IDC. This has become a compelling model, as witnessed by the growth of Salesforce.com and the number of Web 2.0 applications operating on the Amazon Elastic Computing Cloud. Cloud computing is a very attractive model for smaller government organizations to reduce IT infrastructure and system administration costs.
Many governments are reluctant to leverage cloud computing. Input estimates that cloud computing will represent around 1% of the United States Federal Government IT budget in 2013 despite the Google launch of a “government cloud”. Governments are particularly concerned about private sector companies hosting critical financial management applications.
Many governments want to leverage the benefits of utility computing through shared services such as the US Federal Government Line of Business Initiative. Financial and civil service management software for government needs to be cloudable – hosted by the government or third party. It must support different configurations for government entities whether line ministries or local governments. And, it must support flexible configuration changes.
FreeBalance and Cloud Computing
The FreeBalance Accountability Platform was developed to support cloud computing. The technical infrastructure scales to support large implementations. The configuration approach, through the use of parameters, provides needed flexibility. Government organizations are able to support multiple configurations within data centers.