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Public Sector Cloud Computing Scenarios
Cloud computing is currently considered to have great potential in mitigating the financial and administrative difficulties of public administrations in Germany. It promises to both optimize the use of IT resources, and encourages a great variety of collaboration options writes Dr Peter Deussen, Senior Researcher at Fraunhofer FOKUS.
On the other hand, concerns with regards to data privacy and security dominate the current discussions around cloud computing. As such, public administrations hesitate to move towards cloud offerings from private-sector enterprises because of such fundamental legal constraints.
Cloud computing helps us to manage such huge amount of information while keeping it inside the cloud of Internet
Another, closely-related concern is the lack of interoperability between technologies across cloud service providers, an apprehension that goes beyond reasoning about switching costs. Public administrations are obliged to guarantee the continual availability of the services they provide, regardless of the evolving circumstances or business models of private sector IT service providers.
Usage scenarios also have been introduced as a methodological means to make requirements from the public sector available to industrial standardization processes. Usage scenarios provide a narrative approach to understand those requirements, by adding legal, societal, or organizational contexts to technical use cases. Therefore, they do not only deliver a way to identify gaps in standard frameworks, but also help to steer a discussion between industrial and governmental stakeholders beyond technicalities, and help comprehend interoperability requirements based on concrete data, protocols, and processes. This methodology is intended to be applied as working mode of the working group on cloud computing of the ISO subcommittee on “Distributed application platforms and services”, to which our usage scenarios have been contributed as an initial input.
The use of cloud computing in public administration is ambitious and as mentioned, the many concerns regarding security and data protection still need to be addressed. I believe that these concerns can be dealt with the best through use-case scenarios as they give a variety of concrete examples which allow carrying the discussion of specific issues from a political and legal level down to their technical implementation.