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Senators: Cloud will save cash

The leaders of a Senate Homeland Security subcommittee focused on reining in Washington spending advocated for moving government data into "the cloud" on Wednesday on the grounds that it could save money.

Federal agencies are closing data centers and moving their data into online storage space known as the cloud to save space and money. Nearly 400 federal data centers will be shuttered by the end of next year.

"One of the ways to get better service for less money is to do IT well," Sen. Thomas Carper, D-Del., chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Federal Financial Management Subcommittee, said during an briefing on cloud services.

The ranking member of the subcommittee agreed with the approach.

"The amount of money Sen. Carper and I have identified as waste in government services is incredible. We can do better," said Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass.

Government officials denied that closing data centers means cutting jobs. "We did not eliminate any job through the consolidation," said Jim Sills, chief information officer for Delaware.

Richard Spires, chief information officer at the Homeland Security Department, said the shift would allow agencies to transfer employees to higher-value jobs.

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