Kundra: 'Cloud first' to be funded by data center consolidation savings

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Agency migration to cloud computing will be funded by reinvesting savings realized from data center consolidation, said Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra while speaking to reporters Feb. 16.

"Because of the budget pressures that agencies are experiencing and because of the fact that we're going to be shutting down 800 data centers, a lot of it is going to be spending that's already there," he said.

An Office of Management and Budget document released publically Feb. 16 says the government will shift "up to $20 billion in spending to the cloud," but the mention of that shift in agency fiscal 2012 budget requests fiscal 2012 budgets is noticeably absent.

"We're not saying all of [the $20 billion] is moving in 2012, but this is what agencies have identified," Kundra said during the press call.

Time lines, however, appear mismatched: The data center consolidation goal aims to shutter 800 facilities by 2015 and the OMB "cloud first" mandate requires every agency to have one cloud solution in place by December 2011 and up to three cloud-based programs by June 2012.

"Cloud first is not about more spending," said Kundra, noting that General Services Administration and the Agriculture Department already transitioned one IT system to a cloud environment. "Both of them did not require new funding. They actually saved a lot of money; in GSA's case $15 million and in USDA's case over $20 million," he said.

The federal government plans to spend $79.5 billion on IT in fiscal 2012, reports OMB.

The Transportation Department will see the largest upward swing in its IT budget compared to fiscal 2010. It's IT budget would go up by 21 percent, or $658 million. Kundra said the jump was due to NextGen which will cost the agency a projected $1.1 billion. USDA could see an increase of 12 percent, or $320 million, due to Farm Program IT modernization, which will cost the agency about $107 million.

Office of Personnel Management would see the biggest cut to its 2012 budget, a 33 percent drop or $32 million. The budget reduction is the result of a financial system review, which drove a $23 million drop, said Kundra.

The fiscal 2012 IT budget at NASA would drop 24 percent, or $512 million compared to what it enacted in fiscal 2010 due to a cut in $100 million in infrastructure spending, Kundra said. And the U.S. Agency for International Development would see an 18 percent, or $155 million, decrease, due the infrastructure consolidation and optimization, said Kundra.

Kundra highlighted the National Archives and Records Administration, which would go down by 17 percent, or $23 million, thanks to OMB "TechStat" reviews of an ERA project that resulted in the agency agreeing to halt developmental activity by the end of this fiscal year. Commerce Department's fiscal 2012 budget request is 16 percent, or $466 million, less than what was enacted in fiscal 2010 as a result of the census "being ramped down, that's a $905 million drop," Kundra said.

Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Small Business Administration would see fiscal 2012 budget decreases of 11 ($38  million) and 15 percent ($18 million), respectively, compared to fiscal 2010 spend. These requested decreases are due to more TechStat sessions and reviews dedicated especially to agency financial systems, said Kundra.

For more:
- listen to the press call
- see the document (.pdf) referenced on the call

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