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Solution providers gathered for Everything Channel's XChange Public Sector conference this week said they were disappointed that the Federal CIO who was driving a cloud computing revolution is apparently throwing in the towel after only two and half years on the job
The political news website POLITICO reported Thursday that Vivek Kundra, the first ever federal CIO, is planning to leave the White House in August in order to take a post at Harvard University. President Obama tapped Kundra in March 2009 to take the reins of the sprawling federal IT effort after a highly regarded stint as the CIO of Washington, D.C.
Kundra's role was central to President Obama's push for the federal government, the largest buyer of information technology, to embrace modern technologies like cloud computing to become more efficient.
"This is very disappointing, " said Martin Tarr, the CEO of Tiburon Technologies, a Cleveland, Ohio solution provider. "The problem with government is people (like Kundra) embrace large projects to update their resumes and then move on, and pass the mess to someone else."
The constant change in leadership is a big reason government projects are taking twice as long as they did 15 years ago, said Tarr. "There needs to be some accountability when people take these positions," he said. "Our men and women in uniform make a commitment to serve our country and they don't say 'It is getting a little tough, my resume has been updated, I think I will leave and not finish my tour of duty.' Yet others with a suit and white shirt make a commitment and get part of the way through and they decide it is okay to leave. They no longer have to serve their country."
Tarr was one of several hundred public sector technology solution providers gathered for the three day conference June 15-17 at the Sawgrass Marriott resort in Jacksonville, Fla. to strategize on thought leadership in the era of government reform.
In a bid to reduce costs and use technology more effectively, Kundra launched a cloud computing plan for the federal government and created the government's "cloud-first" initiative in which government agencies would examine lower-cost, cloud-based technologies for new projects. As part of the cloud-first plans, the federal government expects to shutter 100 data centers this year, and 800 by 2015.