Businesses aren't the only ones to benefit from cloud computing.
Recent NY Times and Fortune interviews with outgoing U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra report that the federal government has been actively working to reduce IT costs.
One fruit of that effort is the impending closing of 800 of the 2,000 data centers that serve various departments and agencies. 195 will be closed by the end of this year, with 178 more to close by the end of 2012.
The closings are possible due to efforts including identification of redundant and underutilized systems and use of cloud-based services. The Fortune article quoted average federal government utilization of processing power at 27% and storage utilization under 40%.
The Times reported that 140,000 employees at the General Services Administration and Department of Agriculture have moved to cloud-based e-mail provided by Google. The Agriculture Department now uses a "Microsoft cloud service" for its email.