In one of its first acts, the 117th Congress passed the FedRAMP Authorization Act. This bill codifies the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) and, in the process, speeds up the time it takes for cloud solutions to be implemented in the Federal government. Currently, cloud solutions must frequently gain separate authority to operate statuses for each agency where they are used. This bill looks to have the General Services Administration (GSA) automate processes to promote reciprocity for security validations from one agency to another.
This bill was passed at a critical time for cloud adoption within government as agencies continue to accelerate their digital plans to meet the needs of a remote workforce. While the way has been cleared for "emergency" use of cloud to keep the business of government running, laws and policy like this Act ensure that there is long term support for the move to cloud services.
The pandemic-induced change to how and where people need to access systems caused the Navy to shift focus from upgrading networks to enabling cloud. The Navy has worked on a "pretty comprehensive" memo to guide cloud migration across the department. It outlines how to leverage cloud capabilities across the Navy and Marine Corps and provides guidelines for acquisition.
Not only is Cloud use increasing because of the pandemic, it is also playing a critical role in the response to COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is using cloud infrastructure for the data repository for all vaccination data in the nation. The systems have been in use to register and communicate with over 500,000 people who volunteered to participate in clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics.
As Cloud use expands in government, there are a number of upcoming public sector events and resources that provide best practices and information on emerging trends and techniques.
- FCW Workshop: Pillars of Modernization (February 10, 2021; virtual) - Smart, successful modernization demands a holistic approach that addresses several essential pillars: security, network infrastructure, multi-cloud architectures, data solutions and the user experience. Weaving all these elements into a clear and coherent modernization strategy is undeniably difficult, but there are proven methods of doing so. This workshop features government and industry experts in each of these disciplines, sharing the lessons they've learned and the results they've been able to drive at key federal agencies.
- Continuous Compliance for Cloud Workloads: Are You Ready? (February 17, 2021; webcast) - Attendees will learn about common compliance pitfalls and how to avoid them; the importance of implementing continuous compliance, not just point-in-time compliance; and how compliance helps with cost governance.
- 2nd Annual CIO Forum (April 7, 2021; virtual) - Modernizing cyber, cloud, information technology, data, artificial intelligence and machine learning have been top priorities for CIOs across the GovCon sector, which will enable them to implement a seamless tech strategy to maintain a competitive edge. This event brings together leaders across the federal government and industry to discuss the latest priorities, initiatives and challenges CIOs will work to solve moving forward.
- Multi-Cloud for Agencies: Putting Cloud Smart Into Practice (white paper) - This paper details the reasons for the shift to Cloud Smart and details the next chapter in the evolution of cloud to a multi-cloud infrastructure that requires enterprise cloud orchestration.
- Elevating Government Services with Cloud (white paper) - This paper looks at the role cloud plays in meeting the cross-agency goal of improving service to citizens by providing a modern way to interact with government agencies and their services.
We'd love to hear where you are getting up to speed on cloud implementation and use. Let us know what events you're attending in the comments.