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GCN : March and April 2016
F OUR YEARS after building a foundation for moving their workloads and applications to the cloud, government agencies have reason to expect a bright and productive 2016. New tools have emerged to help agencies adopt a new generation of sophisticated cloud platforms including the hybrid cloud, as well as new clouds-based ser vices. The combination of a long gestation period for agencies to get started with cloud services—provided by the federal government ’s “Cloud First” policy—together with the advent of tools designed to help agencies acquire more advanced and secure cloud services have put agency cloud investments on a solid footing. This outlook is reflected in studies that suggest the federal government’s annual investment in cloud will grow significantly over the next several years. According to resea rcher Deltek Inc., federal demand for commercial cloud services will jump from $2.4 billion in 2015 to $6.2 billion in 2020, an annual growth rate of 21.4 percent . A lthough Cloud First provided agencies a framework under which to pilot new cloud-based applications, starting with the Treasury Dept.’s cloud-oriented Recovery.gov, ma ny believe the progra m has largely served its purpose as a launch pad for initiat- ing cloud services. Government agencies are now moving beyond point solutions toward infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and plat- form as a service (PaaS) options that will require agencies to take a more strategic, enterprise approach in migrating to the cloud. “Cloud First helped open the door for us to embrace cloud,” says Greg Capella, acting executive director of the Enterprise Systems Development Office at the Depar tment of Homeland Security. “But clearly the technology has evolved quickly.” Indeed, agencies are now taking advantage of more advanced cloud capabilities, i ncluding access to improved system and service virtualization technologies, the ability to migrate data and ser vices between shared clouds, and the growing adoption of infrastructure-based services. Government agencies are also more closely eyeing the hybrid cloud as their platform of choice, as that conveys the benefits of both the private and public cloud. As demand for these offeri ngs grows, technology policymakers are seeking ways to accelerate acquisition paths for making hybrid cloud services available to agencies in the coming year. GOVERNMENT BUILDS NEXT-GEN CLOUD TOOL CHEST As government agencies continue to move to the cloud, the hybrid cloud is emerging as the most secure and flexible platform. 2010 2011 2012 Recovery.gov becomes the first government- wide system to move to a cloud platform. MAY 2010 GSA announces plans to make available cloud- based Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). OCTOBER 2010 The Interior Department awards a contract to shift its e-mail to the cloud. APRIL 2012 The CIA announces plans to transition IT services to commercial cloud infrastructure. FEBRUARY 2013 Federal CIO Vivek Kundra institutes the “Cloud First” policy. NOVEMBER 2010 GSA launches the FedRAMP program to standardize product security assessments. JUNE 2012 OMB publishes the Federal Cloud Computing Strategy. FEBRUARY 2011 DISA’s cloud-based enterprise e-mail program hits 500,000-user milestone. AUGUST 2012 S -14 SPONSORED CONTENT TRANSITION 2016: NEXT-GEN CLOUD TOOLS
January and February 2016