The U.S. government has been making a big push toward cloud computing solutions use by its departments over the past couple of years, so it is no surprise to see U.S. Navy CIO Terry Halvorsen instruct his department to use public cloud based services. However, he is not yet ready to completely trust third-party solutions, as the Navy plans to limit the information stored in the cloud to data that has already been approved for public release. Network World said this is a clear endorsement of the cloud by the department but the limited use may lower the value of the technology.

Halvorsen said in his memo that all decision makers in the Navy should start investigating the use of cloud services, as this can help increase efficiency without sacrificing any effectiveness once it is implemented correctly. He wants to see more analysis by areas that will be looking to public cloud services to host naval information to see if they can handle it as well as other services.

The first step in migrating to cloud services will be the low-impact systems, but the Navy will be looking to see how well these work within the cloud before considering more widespread use.

"Rumors have been circulating that some government entities may be using the cloud for their own internal, behind-the-firewall private clouds too," Network World said. "[One large provider] is reportedly working with the CIA to build a cloud for that spy agency, while others have recently reported that officials from the National Security Administration are set to discuss their use of OpenStack cloud platform technology at the project's summit next week in Portland, Oregon."

According to Halvorsen's memo, the Navy will proceed as follows:
- Employees must make sure all systems are certified and formally approved by the Navy
- Commercial cloud service providers will be used to support low-impact systems unless there is a better, cost-effective system in place
- A governance policy will need to be established
- Alternatives can be identified if there are any that will make the process better for the Navy