Will cloud finally take off for state & local?
February 28, 2017 Leave a comment
By Rachel Eckert, SLED consultant
Doesn’t it seem like every year is declared the year of cloud? But 2017 could actually kick off some serious cloud adoption in state and local governments for the next few years.
The state of Utah recently awarded master agreements to a variety of companies, including immixGroup, to provide cloud solutions through the NASPO ValuePoint multi-state cooperative procurement program. The master agreements are available to all 50 states and cover a full range of cloud solutions.
The contract has the potential to spur significant cloud adoption within states and localities, especially those with smaller budgets or where cloud initiatives haven’t moved as quickly. A few factors are already setting up the contract for success.
First, it was a huge feat to have 35 states agree to cloud standards and policies in one RFP. NASPO ValuePoint allows each state to put their own limits on top of the master agreement. So all agencies will have a common baseline, but they’ll be in agreement on cloud security standards.
Delaware CIO Elayne Starkey has said, “Sending sensitive government data to the cloud can be a very scary proposition. These contracts meet a critical need within the government sector by providing a mechanism for state and local governments to leverage cloud solutions and ensure that potential cloud vendors meet data security and protection requirements.”
Another major challenge in state and local cloud adoption has been delays in legislation, which is needed to set up the contracting authority to buy things as-a-service. NASPO ValuePoint solves that problem in one fell swoop. Not to mention, states will have access to an expansive portfolio of 38 cloud vendors that best fit their agency’s needs. States will also not have to go through a lengthy RFP process and they can save on administrative costs.
Up until this point, most states have done SaaS implementation of some form or fashion, but it’s the widespread adoption of storing all the data that states haven’t adopted. NASPO ValuePoint’s master agreements will help provide the infrastructure and platform solutions that states are lacking.
The program has received positive reaction from leaders already.
Virginia CIO Nelson Moe has said NASPO ValuePoint will help governments become more agile in their deployment of technology solutions to reduce costs and improve services for taxpayers. He also pointed to the fact that cloud providers will be refreshed every two years so that cloud solutions remain up-to-date.
The new cloud solutions marketplace represents a major leap forward in enabling governments to partner with cloud providers to more effectively deliver services to citizens, said Michael DeAngelo, Washington State Deputy Chief Information Officer and one of the program advisors.
immixGroup is offering Infrastructure-as-a-Service solutions through its relationship with EMC/Virtustream. Additional products will be added as immixGroup brings in more approved vendors to the program.