5 key areas to watch in the Pentagon’s new cloud strategy

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U.S. Department of Defense

The Department of Defense released its cloud computing strategy on Wednesday, outlining the department’s shift to an enterprise cloud computing environment that will use the Defense Information Systems Agency as its broker.

Here are five key areas of the strategy:

The strategy will usurp a number of other strategies and roadmaps already in place

The documents states that the transition to cloud computing may require upfront investments and realignment of planned IT roadmaps with the department using business case analysis to determine the best value between alternatives.

This will change acquisition

The strategy says the department must alter its acquisition approach if it expects to keep pace IT advancements. Watch for a change in contracting models, a streamlining of key acquisition processes and the publishing of acquisition guidance and policies.

Expect a road show

The DOD CIO will implement a cloud computing outreach and awareness campaign to gather input from the major stakeholders, expand the base of consumers and providers and increase visibility of available cloud services throughout the federal government. Current cloud‐related activities will provide input to the development of cloud computing planning and implementation guidance. Specifically, these activities will inform the department on the key benefits and challenges of cloud services, including value propositions, security features and challenges, sample mitigation strategies, training, lessons learned and case studies.

Governance will be critical

The DOD’s approach to deliver an enterprise cloud computing strategy will require strong governance authority and continued commitment to greater transparency through regular and open reporting. Optimizing data center consolidation efforts with core cloud infrastructure must be carefully executed. To achieve the cloud computing goal, all barriers to consolidation and transition must be addressed without major delay. Governance must ensure mechanisms are in place to coordinate enterprise activities across the Department.

It’s not going to be all DOD

With the emergence of FedRAMP and the increasing maturity of commercial cloud services, there is increasing potential to leverage commercially provided services to support the DOD’s IT requirements. With security concerns, though, these other options will be seriously vetted.

U.S. Department of Defense Cloud Computing Strategy

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Department of Defense (DOD), Departments, FedRAMP
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