Harris pulls hosted cloud service operation

Karrie Kehoe News
1 Mar, 2012

US government’s public cloud dreams in jeopardy

The US government just doesn’t look ready to embrace the cloud. Technology giant Harris has pulled its remote cloud hosting programme after hoped-for government contracts failed to materialise.

The Florida-based corporation, shut its Cyber Integrated Solutions operation because of slow adoption by its commercial and government customers. With an air of finality, Harris stated that it will also sell its purpose-built data centre in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

While there has been enthusiasm for the British government’s move to the cloud – yesterday’s problems aside – the US’s ‘Cloud First’ policy has had a more chequered history. Launched by former federal CIO Vivek Kundra, the plan was designed to slash public sector IT costs and reduce the government’s 2,100 data centres.

It has long struggled however to gain the confidence of the Federal Agencies and Harris’ closure of its cloud hosting programme is evidence of the degree of hesitation that has long lingered in the public sector about mission-critical information being hosted remotely.

Harris has been a consistently serious player in the cloud services field and has long been entrusted with some of the US’ most secret data. It has developed and managed some of the US’ most sensitive information and IT networks including the Federal Aviation Administration Telecommunications Infrastructure network. If Harris can’t win the confidence of the US public sector in storing its data then there are serious concerns that the programme will not be as successful as Kundra has dreamed.

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