In 2009, Vivek Kundra was named as the country’s first CIO and was charged with improving efficiency while also making government data more available to the public. Part of his plan was to transform federal IT management with a cloud-first policy and get away from wasteful spending on IT infrastructure. We’re slowly seeing a shift take place, and today an announcement was made on another set government IT assets moving to the cloud.
CGI Federal, a wholly-owned subsidiary of publicly traded CGI Group Inc., today announced that it has been selected to manage public cloud solution for DHS’ public facing websites, including DHS.gov, FEMA.gov, and USCIS.gov, as well as others.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security awarded the company a three-year, US$1.8 million content management services contract. The contract was awarded under the U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA) US$76 million Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) BPA. CGI was granted approval to deliver certified, secure government cloud services under the IaaS BPA last month.
According the company, CGI will provide three integrated environments that encompass the full application development and deployment lifecycle—from enterprise development and integration to testing, training, staging, troubleshooting and production.
“DHS’ move to the cloud is being watched closely as it’s one of the largest agencies to put the ‘cloud-first’ policy into practice,” said Eric Wolking, Senior Vice-President, CGI. “CGI’s cloud environment contains all of the required enterprise-wide security, service delivery, and hosting capabilities needed to reduce costs while delivering improved citizen services.”
Several service providers have been aggressively pursuing government cloud computing-related projects.
In August, Amazon Web Services announced “AWS GovCloud”, a new AWS Region designed specifically to help U.S. government agencies and contractors move IT applications and systems into the cloud by addressing specific regulatory and compliance requirements.
In June, Lockheed Martin, announced “BlackCloud“, a secure turnkey private cloud solution for government agencies designed to minimize risk while addressing compliance and mission requirements.
In November 2010, IBM launched a Federal Community Cloud specifically designed to help federal government organizations respond to technology requirements more quickly. The secure, private cloud environment is part of IBM’s Federal Data Centers (FDC) that provide secure and comprehensive certified computing capabilities to federal government clients.
According to Johnnie Konstantas, Director of Product Marketing for Juniper Cloud Security solutions, “This is certainly a trend worth keeping an eye on. As the federal government moves to broadly adopt cloud computing and legislate or at least lead with thinking on cloud security, those businesses and organizations that have already addressed it will be in great shape to interoperate with the new fed data centers, while those who haven’t will have some pretty clear precedents to follow.”
Has the U.S. Government landed itself on the cutting edge of technology?