Government agencies are ramping up their commitments to the cloud.
That’s an important trend for enterprises with government contracts. After all, public-spending accounts for more than one-third of U.S. GDP. When the public sector starts moving into the cloud, the private sector has to pay attention.
The U.S. government took a cautious, methodical approach to adopting the cloud, taking extra care to develop guidelines for protecting private and sensitive data. All this effort culminated in the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), which establishes robust security rules for federal government contractors.
Today, the FedRAMP Marketplace is a Who’s Who of prominent cloud providers whose services meet FedRAMP guidelines. With so many cloud services earning FedRAMP approval, using the cloud is bound to become more common across all sorts of agencies that follow the federal lead.
That means enterprises have to think more deeply about adding cloud services for their government clients. And, of course, it means a prominent role for the cloud in public sector IT strategy.
While FedRAMP is a green light for government work in the cloud, it doesn’t change the nature of technology in the public sector. Projects can take years to see the light of day. By the time you’re ready to go live, you might find the agency doesn’t need the technology anymore. And with federal contracts, you have to take great care to ensure every component of your cloud architecture is FedRAMP-compliant. Non-compliant software and services within your architecture could bring your whole project to a crashing halt.
Thus, getting your cloud architecture right is even more crucial — and more challenging — at the federal level.
FedRAMP’s robust framework is a model for government agencies everywhere. Indeed, the program’s maturity illustrates how far cloud technologies have moved into the mainstream of IT.
— Rachel Askew, executive director, Federal Cloud Services