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Kundra Taking Page from Tech Start-ups’ Playbook on Federal Cloud Efforts

Federal CIO Vivek Kundra, Photo: omb. gov

At a New York City conference sponsored by The Economist, federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra said the government is continuing on its path to the cloud and will take a page from the private tech sector to do so.

“I just spent some time in California talking with innovative startup companies and venture capitalists, and all are moving toward zero asset footprints,” Kundra said, according to a ZDNet report. “Their capital requirements are very low.”

Contrast that with a sprawling federal bureaucracy that spends $80 billion a year on IT, with an ever-ballooning number of data centers. “There’s a lot of waste, a lot of duplication,” he said.

These are familiar themes for Kundra, one of the White House’s most high-profile tech leaders, who expounded on the government’s plan for  IT acquisition reform — of which cloud computing plays a starring role — late last year.

In Kundra’s Economist speech, he also took a page from the social media playbook.

“The American people are becoming the co-creators of the next generation of innovations,” he said. Those companies that have found success in the current economic climate are those that have leveraged the power of the crowd. “It’s not YouTube creating content; it’s you and I creating the content,” he added. “Same with Facebook and Twitter.”

Kundra also mentioned data.gov, the online repository for federal data sets. “We want to encourage people to work with the raw data to make discoveries,” he said, according to ZDNet.

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