Last week, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released for public comment a draft roadmap for implementing cloud computing technology across U.S. government agencies.  The roadmap is intended to foster adoption of cloud computing by federal agencies, reduce uncertainty surrounding cloud computing by improving the information available to policymakers, and facilitate the further development of the cloud computing model.  The deadline for comments is December 2, 2011. 

The roadmap is composed of three volumes: Volume I establishes priorities for implementation and provides a general understanding and overview of the background, purpose, and next steps for the U.S. government’s cloud computing initiatives.  Volume II is a technical reference guide for people actively working on cloud computing initiatives, while volume III is intended for policymakers who are implementing cloud computing solutions.  Volume I identifies ten requirements that must be satisfied in order for cloud computing initiatives to be implemented, including international interoperability, portability, and security standards; defined government regulatory requirements, technology gaps, and solutions; and defined and implemented reliability design goals.