IBM to Put U.S. Government on the Cloud

International Business Machines (IBM) is targeting the U.S. government as its next new customer for its cloud-computing services. The company Monday launched its new cloud environment, called the Federal Community Cloud, which will provide secure online data centers that will meet policies mandated by Vivek Kundra, the Obama Administration's chief information officer, and that will cost less than building out the federal government's own systems.

IBM already is working with 15 federal departments, including defense, homeland security and education, to provide cloud and data-center services. In addition to federal government, IBM said Monday that it also has the capability to supply cloud-computing services for state and local governments, and is talking to the New York Conference of Mayors and the Michigan Municipal League about pilot testing with those two groups' members.

The news is the latest sign that more organizations are relying on cloud computing instead of maintaining their own data centers. Earlier this year, Gartner forecast that cloud-computing revenue will more than double by 2014 to about $150 billion.