3 Changes Jumpstarting Government’s Cloud Adoption
April 7, 2016 Leave a comment
by Lloyd McCoy Jr., DOD Manager
New changes to cloud policies make for a positive outlook for federal cloud procurement. Many saw this coming with the convergence of expanding government missions and flat budgets. The trend has created an environment where the elasticity and efficiency that cloud technology brings, has been a force multiplier for changes in government policy — facilitating faster cloud adoption.
Here are a 3 recent developments:
- Not your father’s Data Center Consolidation Initiative (FDCCI)
The Federal Data Center Consolidation initiative is being replaced by a renewed focus on cloud adoption and more use of shared data center services. When an agency wants to create a new capability or stand up a new workload, the first priority for that acquisition has to be cloud. If not, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the General Services Administration (GSA) are directing them to look at shared data center services. Only if these options are insufficient can a program manager buy on-premise hardware. This will create a clear incentive among federal agencies to adopt true Infrastructure-, Platform-, and Software –as-a-Service offerings. This emphasis on shared data centers will also create a core group of federal customers that act as cloud service providers.
- FedRAMP turning over a new leaf
Changes are also happening with the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), the government’s vehicle for onboarding cloud service providers. In order to streamline the arduous certification process, the plan by GSA is to increase the number of federal organizations that can conduct initial capability assessments for cloud vendors. Before, it was the FedRAMP program itself that was responsible for this first step, creating a traffic jam and causing major delays. The hope is that by delegating this task to others, the process will be cut to just six months.
- DOD – The Wild, Wild West
While we’re seeing some unification around procurement and implementation among civilian agencies, the opposite is happening in the Department of Defense (DOD) as it pertains to cloud computing. For one, while the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) remains in charge of security requirements for the Department, it no longer plays the role of middleman in DOD cloud procurements. Instead, cloud is seen as an extension of any other kind of IT, where the service branches already had full authority to make purchases for themselves. Over the last several months, we’ve seen each of the military branches release updated cloud computing guidelines to help industry (and themselves) understand their unique security requirements and mission needs. In the vast majority of DOD cases, FedRAMP certification is just the beginning and it’ll be critically important to keep up with any additional security requirements mandated by that DOD office or agency. Mission specific requirements are especially important since they not only shape security guidelines, but how that office plans to implement cloud technology in their environment. Air, land, or sea, for example, require different cloud computing constructs.
On April 12, immixGroup hosted a Market Intelligence Briefing and Government Panel on Cloud Sales Opportunities (#DeliveringCloud2Govt) addressing these developments and challenges. Our event covered the latest and greatest in federal cloud policy and drivers — uncovering the information you need to sell your cloud solution, as well as identifying opportunities to work with private cloud owners in federal agencies. Our event also dug into some of the agencies leading the charge on cloud adoption. Our panel of government IT experts included: Robert Vietmeyer, cloud computing lead for DOD CIO; Janice Haith, Navy Deputy CIO; Frank Konieczny, US Air Force CTO; and Roopangi Kadakia, NASA Web Services Executive. They also discussed the unique challenges government faces when moving to the cloud and how these challenges can be overcome.