As federal government agencies look to speed up their digital transformation initiatives to help support the COVID-19 response and economic regeneration, the opportunity to leverage the cloud has never been more important. Being able to move data and apps to the cloud and take advantage of storage and processing capacity as well as the opportunity to move data quickly and seamlessly between applications empowers agencies to deliver on the mission more quickly.
However, while there are many ways of getting to the cloud and many more ways of leveraging the cloud, not all solutions are built to the security standards that federal agencies require. In order to simplify an agency’s journey to the cloud, the federal government developed a program with the goal of standardizing the approach to “security assessment, authority, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services,” also known as the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP).
FedRAMP began in 2011 to help agencies move more quickly from legacy IT to cloud-based IT. Once a Cloud Service Offering (CSO) passes the rigorous FedRAMP certification process, it is included in the FedRAMP marketplace where it is available for purchase by federal agencies. The marketplace is designed to increase understanding and use of CSOs by agencies, as well as enabling a collaborative workflow where agencies can share experiences, best practices, use cases, and lessons learned to further speed the adoption of cloud services.
While cloud services have been vital to mission success for the last decade, their importance to federal agencies is growing rapidly, as the mission is increasingly driven by data and reliable data access. As agencies put their petabytes of data in data warehouses, data centers, and the cloud to work to solve today’s most pressing challenges, they must be able to move, process, and analyze that data quickly while maintaining the data’s integrity.
“Federal agencies need to be able to access deep data insights to improve programs, outcomes, and experiences for citizens to make their lives better,” explained Ted Girard, Snowflake’s VP of Federal, whose cloud data platform recently received FedRAMP authorization. “The FedRAMP authorization demonstrates a commitment to empowering federal agencies with secure, modern IT infrastructure.”
Safe in the knowledge that their data and the apps and platforms needed to take it from information to action is secure, federal agencies are well positioned to tackle today’s challenges and drive innovation in the future.