Federal Government Endorses Cloud-Based IT Services Model

The federal government has announced that FedRAMP will eventually become a required program for federal agencies.  FedRAMP is a program that will assist these agencies as they evaluate providers of cloud-based services.  FedRAMP is an acronym for the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program.

Steven VanRoekel, who currently serves as the federal Chief Information Officer, made the announcement at a meeting this week at a conference sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.  The main topic discussed at the conference was the usefulness for additional cloud computing services for both private businesses and government agencies.  VanRoekel's statement on the future of cloud computing formed part of one of the first speeches he has given in his new position as federal CIO.

VanRoekel expressed his belief that the cloud will at some point be the main computing environment used for government IT function.  This echoes his predecessor's thoughts on the subject; Vivek Kundra, the former federal Chief Information Officer, predicted several months ago that up to 25% of IT support spending by the federal government would eventually be used to purchase cloud services.

VanRoekel identified four primary areas that together make up a ‘cloud strategy’ for the federal government and explained that federal agencies must have the right tools if they are to successfully migrate services onto the cloud.  The same principle applies to business entities.  Since FedRAMP is not open to them to help analyze managed services providers, businesses should consider working closely with outside consultants who can help them evaluate cloud services and the IT companies that provide them.


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