CBP Plans Its Move to the Cloud

Tom O'Keefe

By Tom O’Keefe, Consultant

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently released an RFI seeking industry input on a comprehensive cloud solution that may lead to an RFP later this year or in early 2020. Cloud is a big topic of conversation at federal agencies, but right now, its bark is much larger than its bite. We can expect that to change over the next few years. As this new RFI shows us, agencies are looking to transition significant portions of their environment to the cloud. While traditional IT delivery models may still hold their value, cloud is the future.

CBP is the largest component within the Department of Homeland Security, and how it manages cloud may be indicative of how some of the smaller DHS agencies may also do so. Kshemendra Paul, DHS’s cloud officer, has indicated that only 10% of DHS applications are currently in the cloud. Another 30% are in process or are slated to move to the cloud. Most of what has already been migrated are easy-to-migrate applications like email. Large, mission-critical applications are still being hosted on premise and are likely to be the last of the applications to migrate. CBP will likely use the contract that results from this RFI to accomplish this migration.

Here’s is what CBP is highlighting:

  • Security: When new cloud services are available in a CSP’s environment, CBP requires that those services are made rapidly available at all security levels so government can make use of them.
  • Interoperability: Application and data interoperability and portability are required to take advantage of multiple clouds, including cloud offerings from different providers.
  • Pricing: Constant price revisions will be necessary to maintain parity to the CSP’s commercial pricing offerings and support for bring-your-own-license (BYOL) for PaaS and SaaS offerings.
  • XaaS: Anything-as-a-service (XaaS) offerings that fit many different CBP use cases such as data as a service, data hub as a service, extract transform load (ETL) as a service, IT service management as a service, and workplace management as a service must be accessible.

Making sure your product functions in a cloud environment is key, because as the details of this RFI suggest, CBP is going to be increasingly looking toward the cloud to provide the tools necessary for it to undertake many of its day-to-day IT operations. Ensure you have a FedRAMP offering in the works, because traditional IT sales models may not be as successful in a future where agencies look to acquire those capabilities via the cloud.

To find out what it takes to be FedRAMP authorized and how immixGroup can facilitate the process, read our blog, “Are You Ready for FedRAMP? It’s Time to Get Authorized.”

Mark your calendars! The 6th Annual Government IT Sales Summit will be held on November 21 in Reston, Virginia. Details here.

About Tomas O'Keefe
Tom O'Keefe has over 10 years of market research experience as an Analyst and Consultant in the federal space. He also earned an MA in Political Science from George Mason University. He has covered both civilian and defense agencies and has presented to clients ranging from junior-level associates to executives from some of the largest Systems Integrators and contractors in the federal marketplace.

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