“Spain is traditionally known as a country that does not like to take risks and likes to maintain the status quo … [however] cloud computing is a new service that offers real-world savings financially … cost savings are said to be significant, because one doesn’t need to pay for all the additional software needed on modern computers and the license fees and expertise needed for installing said software … sizeable services sector, it accounts for 40% of Spanish jobs and over 50% of the country’s GDP … absence of major capital expenditure requirements … “help improve the efficiency of an administrative system that is very widely dispersed among state, regional and local bodies, by virtualising part of the services and moving them to the cloud” which would significantly improve efficiency and reduce the operational costs related to the staffing of many buildings and departments”
Cost savings, is the key word, “but” with some sort of common sense, which seems to be lacking into a lot of designs around the world. The first part of ‘one doesn’t need to pay for all the additional software needed on modern computers’ is not necessarily related to cloud, but related to skills of the operator, there are plenty of ‘better’ free systems, the problem is that there is no way to transplant the brain of public employees with a better built one, the second part of the ‘one doesn’t need to pay for all the additional software needed on modern computers’ can also be obtained ‘outside the cloud’ using the same technology, ‘but’ as ‘private cloud,’ IOW you can load all your images of systems for simpletons on a bare metal hypervisor (licensed or free,) and transform the behavior of a rack of servers (designed and connected in a certain way,) into the ‘almost’ same functionality of a mainframe, in so partially solving the security hole of parking data on somebody else hardware.
Certainly by virtualising part of the services and moving them to the cloud for anything ‘unclassified’ both under civilian ‘and’ military standards, makes sense, ‘however’ when it comes to classified the tunes are of different nature, here limitedly the problem may be solved for the lowest end of the spectrum with private circuits, time slots, besides uber-strong encryption, but after a certain level only private optical fiber ‘absolutely not connected’ to any civilian (or even different branch) structure, may do (for now.)
The help improve the efficiency IMVHO should start at the ‘electrical consumption level’ and at the ‘energy impact’ of data centers level, which are two sides of the story nobody cares to talk about, because they would ‘expose’ some of the spying tricks of the industries over (some of the less aware) governments of the whole planet (read TPM and VPRO schemes.)
For instance, appropriation rackets have some ‘vested interest’ into being ‘compatible’ with the most costly industry agendas, in so the system perpetuates itself in buying the least electrical friendly systems, with the highest overpriced proprietary software, 17-25w ‘workstations’ should be a standard, but everybody keeps buying 400w PCs because their empty brains, or the empty brains of the clients, can not run anything else than wind-oze.
From there to data centers, which are designed by regular building architects, who know more or less very little of what a data center should look like. Obviously, the major players do (IT, oil companies, et cetera,) ‘but’ while (some of the) industry follows energy value theory accounting, life cycle cost analysis, et cetera, most of politics follow the electoral district, the ‘donations’ to their campaign, the brains of the idiots their electors, in so your average data center wastes a good 70% in electricity, all for plain carelessness and ‘obedience’ to glorified idiots who constitutionally are given decision power for decisions on issues over which they are completely incompetent, and this has nothing to do with PIIGS, is happening in planetary scale, hallelujah.
The ‘staffing of many buildings and departments’ is mostly related to mobility, the tendency is towards a hierarchical design of data centers, where the only people at the lower level are the maintenance folks, everything else is controlled remotely, ‘but’ here the problem is not only of ‘classified’ versus not, but also of ‘criticality’ in the sense that if you run your water system or your electric or telephone system this way, expect some teenager from slovenia or kazakistan to open you a dam or take down your telephone or electric network, that would cost a lot more than the alleged savings.
The real question “before” getting to a possible cloud solution is of ‘criticality,’ IOW:
“If the whole pyramid ‘connected’ under this service goes down, are there going to be irreparable consequences ?”
Now this tells us that a city system or the garbage company is OK on cloud, but ‘not’ the water district or the telephone system. That is a good clue of what can go on cloud and what should not.