Cloud Luminary: Sage advice from Vivek Kundra

Truth be told, I was a little star-struck when I had the opportunity at CA World in November to interview Vivek Kundra, former CIO of the US government (who is now at, for the Cloud Luminaries thought leadership series. I’d followed his career and the impact of his bold ‘Cloud First’ stance for years and eagerly anticipated the chance to engage him in conversation about how he overcame the cloud-resistance he faced and learn more about the strategies he put in place to influence change.

I found his point of view around cloud security particularly interesting. Vivek believes that cloud security concerns are being overhyped by those who want to preserve the status quo.  He feels that cloud computing can be far more secure than a traditional environment. Consider that when he first took on the position of CIO, the US federal government had more than 2000 data centers (800 of which, by the way, are now on track to be consolidated by 2015). This more traditional, distributed environment results in fragmentation of not only digital assets, but the talent responsible for securing those sites. As Vivek put it, “you can’t guarantee you have your best minds trying to protect your most sensitive information.” 

He also talked about a change in approach to cloud security implemented by the State Department, as they moved from spending hundreds of millions of dollars on cyber-security reports that didn’t really make the State Department more secure, to now having Red Teams and Blue Teams attacking their own systems to identify security holes and vulnerabilities that need to be addressed.

Watch the full interview with Vivek Kundra to learn more about how he chose to redirect the cost savings realized from moving to a shared services model, the progress being made in closing the technology gap between the public and private sectors, strategies for overcoming inertia, advice on how to respond to the consumerization of IT trend and more.

For more guidance from cloud thought leaders and enterprises and service providers on the leading-edge of cloud computing, visit


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Katherine Demacopoulos

Katherine Demacopoulos (@kdemacop) is senior advisor, strategic solutions, at CA Technologies. She has more than 15 years of experience working in strategy and product marketing for innovative enterprise software companies. She was one of the earliest employees in several start-ups, and enjoys leading disruptive initiatives at CA Technologies as well. She frequently collaborates with enterprise IT executives and service providers to tell their stories and share points of view on how the market is being impacted by trends such as cloud computing, big data, devops and more. Some of her programs include Cloud Luminaries, Innovation Luminaries, CloudViews and This Week in Cloud.

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