Cloud First Strategy Turns 5 Years Old [March 18, 2016]

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Friday, March 18, 2016
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FierceGovernmentIT

By Eli Richman

The government's "cloud first" strategy turned five years old last month, marking a period when many agencies overhauled services by consolidating their data centers and moving programs to the cloud.

"This has ushered in a new era of government IT characterized by an unprecedented ability to scale, continuous deployment, agile development and standardized, effective security practices," said Teresa Carlson, vice president of worldwide public sector at Amazon Web Services.

In February 2011, then-Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra posted a new strategy for agencies to reform their IT practices and adopt a "cloud-first" strategy. Kundra hoped the move would help reduce federal data center costs by 30 percent, or $7.2 billion at the time.

Since then, cloud technologies and offerings have advanced considerably, and agencies have graduated from the 78 services originally identified for the cloud to full departments and major websites.

For instance, the public facing websites for DOJ, DHS, NIH, NIST, the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Transportation are all hosted on the Drupal-based govCMS platform, noted Dan Katz, technical director of the public sector at Acquia.

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