Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Government Businesses Google The Internet News IT

America's New CIO Loves Google 208

Posted by kdawson
from the government-in-the-clouds dept.
theodp writes "On Thursday, Barack Obama tapped Vivek Kundra for the post of Federal CIO, giving him responsibility for establishing and overseeing enterprise architecture across the federal government. So what might that look like? Well, little more than a month ago Kundra was slated to sing the praises of Google Apps to government officials in a webcast. A Kundra quote from the presentation slides: 'Why should I spend millions on enterprise apps when I can do it [with Google] at one-tenth cost and ten times the speed? It's a win-win for me.' You can follow Kundra's love affair with Google on YouTube, from his announcement of the Google-Washington DC partnership he brokered through a co-starring role with a Google attorney on a video pitching Google-enabled technology for the Obama Administration. Not surprisingly, some say Obama's choice of a Google-party-goer who worships Google could cause big headaches for Microsoft."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

America's New CIO Loves Google

Comments Filter:
  • by arkowitz (1185265) on Friday March 06, 2009 @09:23AM (#27090925)
    I for one have a problem with our government documents and processes being hosted by a private company. At least Microsoft just sells software.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ritcereal (1399801)
      On the upside, it'd be a lot harder for the Obama administration to misplace millions of e-mails...i mean Google does no evil!
    • by andy1307 (656570) on Friday March 06, 2009 @09:36AM (#27091093)
      I doubt the IT heads of individual departments are just going to turn over their IT operations to him. In any case, a lot of government documents are hosted by large private sector contractors like Lockheed and EDS.
    • by Jurily (900488)

      At least Microsoft just sells software.

      Xbox

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by vux984 (928602)

        Xbox

        The important word was sells not software. He likes the fact that after a transaction with Microsoft, their employees have no ongoing access to what you bought.

        • Xbox

          The important word was sells not software. He likes the fact that after a transaction with Microsoft, their employees have no ongoing access to what you bought.

          OK, how about this one: Office Live [officelive.com]

          • by vux984 (928602)

            OK, how about this one: Office Live

            What about it? Oh... because in additional to selling a gazillion licenses to MS Office, they also have a free web-app-cloud-service-thingy-a-la-google-in-beta-testing that most people have never heard of?

            However, the point stands that Microsoft is more than willing to sell licenses of Microsoft office to anyone that has the slightest interest in buying one.

            This is in stark contrast to google, which might offer some sort of web apps server/appliance to the DoD if they ask.

            • Sure, ok, you are right in a pedantic sense.

              No, I'm merely right. The only reason that MS hasn't developed their cloud infrastructure to the level that Google has is because they're terrified of losing the money that comes from selling boxed software. If they did not have that legacy around, they'd be doing the same thing.

              And as scads of other people have (also correctly) pointed out, the Federal Gov't uses the services of many private companies for the storage of data. As such, outsourcing like this is not without precedent, and so it is not a

              • by vux984 (928602)

                As such, outsourcing like this is not without precedent,

                Depends on -how- precisely its outsourced.

                If the governement hires google to manage its cloud apps to an SLA including that the data belongs to the government and is not googles data playground, that's an acceptable scenario. Google does offer such services... although I'm not sure what the terms are or what can be negotiated... but I'm sure an entity the size of the federal government could get whatever terms it wanted for a price.

                The government outso

    • by Danathar (267989) on Friday March 06, 2009 @10:10AM (#27091511) Journal

      Really? Uh..it's been done for close to 40 years. The government has been using offsite contrators with mainframes and servers at corporate locations since the 60's.

      What's the fuss? Google is a contractor like any other out there that deals with the government and has to abide by the same rules. Your data is as safe with google as it is with any other contractor that works onsite or offsite with the government.

    • Yeah, Google has WAY too much power by being a major search engine, and an email hosting.
      Why if they were power hungry, they would be
      1. run a major search engine,
      2. Run a major email hosting site,
      3. part owners of news outlet,
      4. sell internet connections which can be trivially tapped or can even be used to send spam,
      5. control access via their software by excludding others,
      6. download your data with out your knowledge,
      7. Create an OS that is trivial to spam from,
      8. Put ppl out of competition by either buying them, or
      9. St
    • You mean by being held hostage by storing your files in a proprietary format which forces you to by the vender specific product and thereby continue to by the vender specific product in order to read YOUR FILES! Nice one genius.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I for one have a problem with our government documents and processes being hosted by a private company. At least Microsoft just sells software.

      Quote from Microsoft paralegal: "They [Gates, Ballmer] aren't in it for the money anymore, they're multi-billionaires. They have a chance to change the world." I for one have a problem with unelected civilians having that level of influence, especially without the consent of government.

      • I wasn't aware that the consent of government was necessary to exert influence on any scale. When was the last time you got clearance from the government get a partner into bed? Seems like you just object to other people having more influence than you....

    • Private companies contracted to governments should stick to less critical functions, like making weapons of mass destruction. And no, I'm not refering to Vista.

  • It sounds as idiotic as "America's Sweetheart" or "America's Team" or anything else that assumes some kind of lockstep agreement.

    America's CIO -- bitching about timesheets, hiring H1-Bs, taking kickbacks from vendors, expecting unpaid overtime & on-call time and canceling vacations at the last minute.

    • You are not alone. Using google apps are fine for your run of the mill type up needs. But for government documents especially that of the sensitive issue, google apps are horribly inadequate. For starters, google stores the documents on their server farms and do not really delete anything. This can be a security issue. Second, the default for ssl is log in only, potential for unencrypted transmission of sensitive data being intercepted is huge. Data retention, data backup, and data recovery are also huge is

      • Not from the U.S., but I suppose I would assume that the US Government would have some pull to get some of that stuff customized and to develop their own solution on top of Google's infrastructure.

  • As long as he can separate business from technology, he'll be fine. Google does have some amazing technology - Gmail, Chrome, GoogleBooks, etc, etc, etc. And some iffy business practices, such as scanning books in copyright, a near monopoly in search and advertising, and a few employee accusations. As long as he can keep the two things distinct and treat each accordingly, there shouldn't be a problem.
    • by arevos (659374)

      And some iffy business practices, such as scanning books in copyright

      Why is that an iffy business practise?

    • by D Ninja (825055)

      As long as he can separate business from technology, he'll be fine. Google does have some amazing technology - Gmail, Chrome, GoogleBooks, etc, etc, etc. And some iffy business practices, such as scanning books in copyright, a near monopoly in search and advertising, and a few employee accusations.

      Iffy business practices? Really? Their "monopoly" in search and advertising is far from a monopoly. They just do it the best and, as a result, businesses are flocking to them.

      Employee accusations is not an "iffy business practice." Heck, I don't know of a single, reasonably-sized company that hasn't had accusations leveraged against it by its employees. It's not like you're hearing the complaints that EA got regarding their work hours or anything like that. If something like that comes up, then I'll a

  • Aw shucks. (Score:2, Funny)

    by mdm-adph (1030332)

    "Not surprisingly, some say Obama's choice of a Google-party-goer who worships Google could cause big headaches for Microsoft."

    Man, that's just terrible news.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by garcia (6573)

      "Not surprisingly, some say Obama's choice of a Google-party-goer who worships Google could cause big headaches for Microsoft."

      Man, that's just terrible news.

      It kinda is. While I understand the CIO's point that their solution is inexpensive (I don't know if it's faster), I'm concerned that the CIO might make another party just as much of a government supported monopoly as Microsoft used to be. Do we really need to have that sort of thinking occurring?

      While I'm a current supporter (and by supporter I mean us

      • by mdm-adph (1030332)

        I don't know what you're talking about -- I just hate headaches.

      • I agree that webapps cannot replace good old desktop apps... etc....
        But wouldn't there be some use cases in which Google apps might be an appropriate choice?
        Nevertheless, they're not going to replace a huge installed base over night... And a little competition is not bad...
    • by GPLDAN (732269)
      Right now, Ballmer is drawing a nice warm bath. He just came back from the drug store where he bought some sharp razor blades.
    • by thewiz (24994)

      And I'm fresh out of Tylenol, Excedrin, Ibuprofen, etc.

      Alcohol, anyone?

  • by oodaloop (1229816) on Friday March 06, 2009 @09:27AM (#27090981)
    I work in the intelligence community, and I have to say we are way behind the commercial side in application development and other IT areas. We spend millions in development of programs that can't begin to match free programs available on the internet like Google Earth. Open Source to us means unclassified information; hardly anyone is aware of Linux, Open Office, or other open source solutions. Having someone who is not beholden to government contractors can only be a good thing. And I say that as a government contractor.
    • Sounds like the intelligence community is not.

      • by oodaloop (1229816) on Friday March 06, 2009 @09:41AM (#27091153)
        Well, about 13 years ago, when I joined the community, we were way ahead. Our networks and applications were robust, and nothing on the internet could compare to what we had. All of our research was done on our classified networks; tryig to find something useful on the internet then was hopeless. But our slow acquisition and testing process held us back as the internet and commercial applications grew at a dizzying pace. Now with web 2.0 and the like, we're trying to play catch-up. We started Intellipedia (wikipedia for intel subjects) on our classified networks, but these days a lot of our basic research is done on the internet.

        A lot of the complaints from other posters so far are about Google owning the govt's data, but that's not necessarily true. We can take their applications, like Google Earth as an example, and run it on our classified networks without Google seeing any of our data.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by DoofusOfDeath (636671)

      I work in the intelligence community

      The first rule of Intelligence Community Club is...

      • by tnk1 (899206)

        Don't worry, the black helicopters have already locked on to him. We've entered his coordinates into Google Earth (Special Operations Edition) and they'll be there shortly.

        BTW looks like they caught him working on his truck when they took the photos with the KH-13. Nice butt crack, dude.

  • google apps? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Lord Ender (156273)

    No responsible business (or government!) would use Google Apps. Would you want all your most important company data, as well as all of your customer's information, in the hands (and datacenter) of a search company?

    • As has been pointed out by many people already on this thread: you can host google apps locally on your network. Google doesn't see anything, track anything, save anything. You run their software on your server. This is not a valid argument against using google apps for government or business.

  • ...At least Microsoft won't hold a monopoly on that title anymore.

  • 'Why should I spend millions on enterprise apps when I can do it [with Google] at one-tenth cost and ten times the speed? It's a win-win for me.'

    Well, for one, you cannot use Google Apps on any classified network (that would cover most federal employees, as most of the federal government is DoD) unless Google is willing to sell a permanent, certified copy of Google Apps to be loaded onto each network and isolated from the rest of the world. For another, the federal government is already starting to look

  • You don't need Google for that. Microsoft has been more than capable so far to dig its own grave, and a big chunk of lobbying is was kept them out of it several times. Obama policies against lobbies is what will do the biggest damage.

    Google is not exactly hostile to well-behaved competition. They helped Yahoo when they started to have troubles (and yahoo is the company that matches most of google services since the start), and didnt stop helping Firefox after releasing Chrome. And don't think they are in ve
  • I mean, I hope the new appointee helps in pushing `open standards' including ODF. For Google, while I love the company itself, I do not understand why it still has no filter for searching ODF documents just like PDFs and MS Office documents.

    Have a look [google.ca].

    What also does not help is the fact that there is not a single application in the Open Source world that is 100% compliant to ODF! Think about it...we push open standards (when attacking Microsoft), but cannot create an application that is 100% compliant with

  • by CSHARP123 (904951) on Friday March 06, 2009 @10:01AM (#27091411)
    Why is he talking about saving money. This is the time we need to be thinking about spending. We are proposing a trillion plus dollar budget and this guy is talking about win-win situation. Tax payers have lot of money. As soon as you get to a govt position where you have some decision on spending, you need to start treating Tax payers as ATM machines. That should be the litmus test for becoming a govt. employee. This CIO seems to fail in that regard. I ask all of you call your representatives and senators to push for firing of this guy. Thank you all and God Bless the USA.
  • by jhfry (829244) on Friday March 06, 2009 @10:02AM (#27091429)

    It seems every third comment is along the lines of... "do we really want our data on a private companies servers?"

    Get a clue, what this guy might do is switch the government to government owned servers running google software. Right now, my email, on the DHS network, is pulled from an exchange server... MS does not own the server. The great thing about google's code is that it would scale much better than anyone else's, eliminate the need for client software on individual workstations, and prevent users from storing mail locally on their machines (archive pst's) as is so commonly done now with the tiny mailboxes and huge attachments that inexperienced users are so fond of sending around here. Because each exchange server has it's own mail store, an attachment could exist on every mail server in our organization... while on google, an attachment is stored very efficiently and only on multiple servers for redundancy purposes.

    My vote is for google code on government owned equipment... it would be by far the most efficient and cost effective solution.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      My vote is for the government to you in house development so they control the whole shebang. That can be positive in complies with policy, and if it doesn't it can get fixed pronto.

      Barring that, yeah I would rather Google's tools he sued over MS's.

      • by jhfry (829244)

        The last thing you want is in house development. The government is capable, but on something of this scale it would be best left to someone who has a financial interest in developing a product that people WANT to use. Government systems are typically very capable systems, but you have to HAVE to use them as no one in their right mind would WANT to use them if there were alternatives.

        If the Government could work out a deal with Google to license a private copy of the Google Apps infrastructure for the enti

  • Forget data... (Score:2, Redundant)

    by tsmit (222375)
    Does it bother anyone that Google (yes, google, the company whose main goal is to catalog all the world's data) will now have the US government as it's highest paying customer? What happens when the US Gov comes knocking on Google's door for some data on you, me, whoever. With money flowing in Google's direction, Google will be more likely to hand over any information that the government wants. Time for the tinfoil hats...
  • Oh good (Score:5, Funny)

    by Lord Bitman (95493) on Friday March 06, 2009 @10:18AM (#27091619) Homepage

    I'm okay with Google just taking over the whole government, really. They seem to run things pretty well. Hell, scrap income taxes and make it all add-supported.

  • Information Technology is such a large fraction of both the federal budget and national economy that the president should have direct point guy on it.
    Just hope he doesnt cathc the democratic disease of big, pushy government.
  • Who didn't see this coming? [latimes.com]

    It's just payback for support during the election. It's how it is done in Chicago.

    And before someone marks this as a troll, look at the date and the newspaper. It's a liberal rag that wrote this story long before this was known. In fact, some have speculated that the reason the government backed off the Youtube Video hosting was because of this connection and how some people pointed it out. I guess it turns out that they just want to pick their battles.

    I don't really care what peo

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Nice try to try to make this do to corruption, maybe you should think a little? maybe gather some facts?

      hmmm?

      Here's a thought:
      Can you find a flaw in hos argument for choosing to use Google over...um.. well nobody else has this so I'm not sure what you would have him do.

      At least your log in name is accurate.

      • by sumdumass (711423)

        I didn't make it about corruption, the LA times did. Did you bother reading the damn article I posted?

        As for a flaw in using Google app instead of regular apps, how about the bandwidth requirements, the security requirements, and the fact that we can save more money by not renewing contract to buy new software and just using the old shit that still works if a savings is that important.

        In fact, that last part is probably why the corruption fits so well and what scares you of it. If they really were concerned

      • If Vivek Kundra is involved, then it's corrupt. Guaranteed.

        Anybody else that has worked with this guy want to chime in? I can't believe I'm the first one on here to point that out.

  • 'Why should I spend millions on enterprise apps when I can do it [with Google] at one-tenth cost and ten times the speed? It's a win-win for me.'

    Becasue Google doesn't ahve the same strict requirements a government agency has, don' let this perceived win-win for you be a loss for the people you work for, the citizens.

  • Not America's CIO (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MSTCrow5429 (642744) on Friday March 06, 2009 @01:01PM (#27093741)
    He's the CIO for the Federal government. The Federal government is not America, despite its constant attempts to completely and utterly replace it with itself.
  • Obama announces an open government and a closed Guantanamo - then he asks to dismiss cases based on national security. Then he recruits the DoJ straight out of the ranks of the Music Mafia - then he appoints a net-neutrality friendly CIO.

    That he's cozy with Google, who I also don't know whether to love or hate anymore, is hardly even surprising.

    I'm not calling him a flip-flopper (wow, that term got loaded in the last election) and I supported and still support him, but could he please pick a course and stic

It's a naive, domestic operating system without any breeding, but I think you'll be amused by its presumption.

Working...