Mar 04 2015

Why Ohio’s Governor Is Bullish on Cloud

Gov. John Kasich sees cloud as a cutting-edge business that can bring more jobs to the state.

In Ohio, cloud computing is more than a buzzword reserved for techies in the state’s Department of Administrative Services.

Cloud has made its way to the governor’s mansion. And if Gov. John Kasich has his way, there will be more investments in IT services and jobs that support this way of doing business.

During his State of the State speech last month, Kasich called for investments in cutting-edge industries, such as cloud computing, telemedicine and IT services.

“If we look back on Ohio and we are only big heavy manufacturing and we forget the cloud computing — where we now have a billion-dollar investment, the data and logistics that IBM brought to our state, the medical-device companies, the medical-imaging companies, the new IT services, the new financial services — that’s where the jobs are, folks,” Kasich said. “That’s where the world is going.”

The state has already saved millions by investing in a shared email platform for government employees and consolidating IT infrastructure into the state’s private cloud, according to InformationWeek. Ohio isn’t alone.

Hawaii, California and Massachusetts are among the states driving greater adoption of cloud-based services to cut costs and improve services.

What Services Are Organizations Moving to the Cloud?

Web hosting, email and storage are the easiest to transition and the most prevalent IT services in the cloud at most organizations, according to a new CDW survey of 1,204cloud decision-makers, including state and local officials. Productivity apps, disaster recovery and collaboration are also gaining traction as cloud-based services.

Looking to the future, respondents said they’re considering delivering 35 percent of entirely new IT services via cloud, the report noted. The greatest barriers to adoption: security concerns, trust in cloud solutions, and budget.

When it comes to sorting through the hype and realities surrounding the cloud, determining true cost savings can be the most challenging part.

In 2013, Ohio CIO Stu Davis said the state expects to save $150 million over the next five years, under a 10-year contract with IBM to improve efficiencies in Ohio’s data center, the Columbus Business First reported.

Cloud computing is one of several innovative solutions that Kasich wants to see thrive in Ohio.

“Look at the ones that are really skyrocketing in this country,” Kasich said of thriving businesses, such as cloud computing and 3D printing. “3D printing, have you ever seen it? It’s amazing what it means and what it can mean. Telemedicine and the medical devices that make it possible, logistics, financial services, IT services. These are the cutting-edge industries we must have in Ohio. They just can’t be somewhere else.”


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