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Seizing the Opportunity for US Leadership in the Cloud

In today’s deeply divided Washington, there is now one thing that almost everyone agrees with: The federal government could save a great deal of money and boost its performance by adopting cloud computing solutions for many of its IT needs. Through a mixture of public, private and hybrid cloud solutions, government technology can be scaled in ways to better meet citizen needs while improving federal services. The Obama Administration — and particularly the recently departed Federal CIO Vivek Kundra — identified these opportunities early on and has been working diligently to position the federal government to take full advantage of the cloud for just such reasons.

What’s more, the broader productivity gains derived from moving to the cloud — which industry has been quick to recognize — can help stimulate our whole economy. Obstacles exist, of course, and chief among these are impediments to the smooth flow of data across borders. But as Kundra noted in a New York Times opinion piece Wednesday, the United States has an opportunity to play a leading role in reducing the obstacles to international cloud computing. I wholeheartedly agree with this assessment, and hope policy-makers of all stripes in Washington will embrace a similar vision.

Robert Holleyman

Author:

As President and CEO of BSA | The Software Alliance from 1990 until April 2013, Robert Holleyman long served as the chief advocate for the global software industry. Before leaving BSA to start his own venture, Cloud4Growth, Holleyman led the most successful anti-piracy program in the history of any industry, driving down software piracy rates in markets around the world.

Named one of the 50 most influential people in the intellectual property world, he was instrumental in putting into place the global policy framework that today protects software under copyright law. A widely respected champion for open markets, Holleyman also was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the President’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations, the principal advisory committee for the US government on trade matters.

Holleyman was a leader in industry efforts to establish the legal framework necessary for cloud-computing technologies to flourish. He was an early proponent for policies that promote deployment of security technologies to build public trust and confidence in cyberspace. And he created a highly regarded series of forums for industry executives and policymakers to exchange points of view and forge agreements on the best ways to spur technology advances and promote economic growth.

Before heading BSA, Holleyman was a counselor and legislative adviser in the United States Senate, an attorney in private practice, and a judicial clerk in US District Court. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, a J.D. from Louisiana State University, and has completed the Stanford Executive Program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

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