Why NIST Should Scrap “the Cloud” Entirely

Cloudline | Blog | Why NIST Should Scrap “the Cloud” Entirely

I’d like to humbly suggest that if NIST really wants to help government agencies save money, it should get out ahead of the private sector and do what all of us will eventually do one day, which is completely scrap “the cloud” as an useful abstraction.

Instead of framing a discussion of the proper allocation of scarce government IT resources around some notion of “cloud,” NIST should focus first on the kinds of things that users want to do with computers i.e., e-mail, telephony, archival storage, data distribution, publication, content creation, content management, etc. Then, for each application type, the agency should use an agreed-upon set of metrics to evaluate the full range of options that modern computing supplies, from old-fashioned shrink-wrapped software to apps to client-server to SaaS to roll-your-own using PaaS or IaaS.

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