White House holds forum on transforming government technology [VIDEO]

Tania Chen Contributor
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It’s been over a year since America’s first chief information officer, Vivek Kundra, announced a nationwide effort to improve government information technology and consolidate federal databases.

His 25-point implementation plan aims to close 800 data centers by 2015, which White House officials believe will save $3 billion annually.

Kundra says that a typical data center spends roughly $450 million on electricity bills, but only 27 percent are operating at full capacity. Under his “cloud-first” initiative, Kundra is asking all departments to prioritize uploading data to cloud servers.

“The powerful tool of cloud computing is one that I really think will help us get to where we need to be,” said Daniel Poneman from the Department of Energy, which oversees 17 major laboratories in the country.

According to Poneman, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California has made the switch to Google applications, and could potentially save millions in federal funding. Other departments that have benefited from the change include the Internal Revenue Service, which uses electronic tax filings, and the Department of Agriculture, which consolidates all employee correspondence into a single network.