Yesterday, Google won a preliminary injunction preventing the U.S Department of the Interior from procuring a Microsoft-only Cloud Computing contract. The lawsuit was filed by Google and a reseller of its products after the agency solicited bids for cloud-based email and messaging services and specifying that bidders must use Microsoft products. Google claimed that the requirement was “unduly restrictive of competition”.
Part of the reason the injunction was granted, was that the agency, in selecting Microsoft as its standard, failed to include any estimate of internal agency cost of other/alternative options. In addition, the agency failed to list any potential alternatives despite having had demonstrations from Google on its productivity suite. Part of Google’s complaint also was that the contract specified that products used must comply with the security requirements in the U.S. Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA). Google’s Apps for Government is FISMA-certified, whilst Microsoft’s products were not at the time of the Google lawsuit. Microsoft now has FISMA certification.
The reason I decided to post on the above lawsuit is that it highlights an important point for any organization wishing to adopt the cloud. Before a solution can be procured, a sound, thorough business case must be built. Building a sound business case requires an understanding of the technology, the advantages, the risks, the standards as well as a clear awareness of the costs both hidden and transparent. These then need to be considered against alternatives to the cloud. Finally, potential products from different vendors also need to be considered and these are often not like for like. This is no easy task and requires a good understanding of cloud computing and its business implications.
It is these skills that Learning Tree’s Cloud Computing course provides attendees with. The course provides a hands-on, vendor independent exposure to products from a number of major vendors and evaluates them from a business and technical perspective. How to build a balanced business case that highlights the risks, advantages, alternatives is also covered. Why not consider attending, it may change the you you view IT !