Google received U.S. government security certification for its Apps for Government products on this week, a milestone for the search giant whose quest for government cloud computing contracts has been marred by its failure to meet deadlines for converting the City of Los Angeles email system.
The certification that Google meets the standard of the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) will help the firm compete with Microsoft for the $76 billion government computing market, says the Wall Street Journal.
Microsoft and Salesforce.com, another cloud computing firm, expect to get FISMA certification too, according to WSJ.
The central question, says ReadWriteWeb, is whether Google and other cloud-computing firms assuage the unique concerns of government agencies about security.
TechCrunch reports that Google will be hosting Apps for Government data on servers that are segregated from its common ‘cloud’ and are housed exclusively on U.S. soil, two requirements of U.S. law.
The FISMA certification is “a big step forward for Google,” says Mashable.
But the history of Google Docs, the company’s collaborative word processing application, is not reassuring.
Information Today reports that Google introduced a new version of Google Docs on June 15, “offering new but unfinished collaborative features, startling interface changes, [and] missing significant functionality.”
Their conclusion, (confirmed by this blogger’s personal experiences) is that “Google’s Docs 2010 version was then, and remains a month later, not ready for prime time.”