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National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Cloud Computing - Information Technology Cost Savings

Many of our jobs now require the use of a computer and other IT related devices. I believe most government employees have a computer issued to them, usually a laptop or a desktop. In many cases, the processing power and resources available in the computer that is issued to an employee far exceeds what they need for their day-to-day tasks. In some cases, the employee needs more computing power and/or resources than they have available in their desktop/laptop computer. Sometimes the need for computing power and resources varies from day-to-day, depending on the task, person, and project. IT costs are tending to increase due to the increased dependency on powerful IT for us to do our jobs. If we look at how the government issues computers to employees, it usually follows the model of "issue one of 3 or 4 models that are available through the IT support group". This makes it hard for the government to effectively distribute the IT resources to where they are needed quickly and efficiently. We are paying so much for the investment in the IT, it seems we should look at ways to more effectively place the computing/IT resources where they are needed, when they are needed.

Industry is recently embracing the "Cloud Computing" concept. We have seen on the news a few companies that are offering "Cloud Computing" on a wide scale, for the general public to use for a fee. I suspect some government agencies have started to try the idea of providing "Cloud Computing Services" to their employees. However, I have yet to see examples where the concept of Cloud Computing is utilized in a wide scale. This could allow employees to have a reasonably low cost terminal, tablet PC, or other way to access the "Cloud", and then provide virtual computer resources as part of the cloud, based on the user's need, which can be adjusted in near real-time. I believe this could save the government significant budget that it is currently spending on IT resources that may not be used most effectively.

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Idea No. 1307