TechAmerica Foundation gathers cloud commission

Advisory group will present recommendations to Obama administration

Marc Benioff, Salesforce.com chairman and CEO, and Michael Capellas, VCE chairman and CEO, will serve as co-chairmen of a new TechAmerica Foundation commission that will formulate public policies for advancing the Obama administration’s Cloud First initiative for government technology, TechAmerica announced today.

Jim Sheaffer, president of North American Public Sector at CSC, will serve as vice chairman, leading a task force focused on government adoption of cloud solutions. Microsoft Vice President of Technology Policy and Strategy Dan Reed, who also leads the company’s eXtreme Computing Group, also will serve as vice chairman and will lead a task force focused on U.S. leadership in cloud technologies.

The commission will make recommendations on how government should deploy cloud technologies and address policies that might hinder U.S. leadership of the cloud in the commercial space.

Recommendations concerning the federal sector will be presented to the government’s chief information officer, Vivek Kundra, and commercial-area recommendations will be shared with Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Undersecretary Pat Gallagher.

“The United States has no choice but to advance its leadership in cloud-based technologies, or we will lose the jobs of the future to our competitors,” Gallagher said in the announcement.

Benioff and Capellas will be joined by Michael Nelson, visiting professor of Internet studies in Georgetown University’s Communication, Culture and Technology Program.

“The significance of cloud computing in the world has accelerated with the rise of social technologies, proliferation of mobile devices, and openness of cloud platforms,” Benioff said.

“The cloud is critical to future economic prosperity and we need the right mix of public policies to ensure that the cloud can continue the blistering pace of innovation that we have seen in the sector thus far,” he added.

“The cloud is a proven productivity engine for the private sector and the federal government has clearly recognized the potential of cloud for advancing federal government infrastructure, maintaining U.S. technology leadership, and creating jobs in the U.S.” Capellas said.

TechAmerica Foundation, a nonprofit affiliate of the technology industry group, is now accepting applications from academia and industry for membership on the commission.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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