Unfortunately, too many government CIOs weren't open to public clouds and always chose private clouds. That move to one extreme resulted in Congress pushing them hard the other way. The danger is replacing one lopsided approach with another.
Yes, government agencies need to understand that moving to cloud computing does not mean just building your own clouds, which only adds costs and data center space. Though we need to push the government to more use of public cloud computing services, this act means seems to be punishing agencies for their past mistakes. The public cloud should be an option, but not the only one.
I suspect that the idea behind the act's strong-arm approach is that unless Congress forces the hands of the government CIOs by controlling their money, the federal government won't get any benefit from cloud computing. I believe that fear to be valid. But a better way to address it would've been to appoint a knowledgeable group of people (I volunteer) to direct the government to the right technology, including the right way to use public, private, and hybrid clouds. One or the other is almost never the right choice.
If we don't take the politics and FUD out of this, we're all going to lose.
This article, "The Defense Department's forced march to cloud computing," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and track the latest developments in cloud computing at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.