CLOUD.GOV: ADVANCING AGENCY CLOUD MIGRATION
TechFlow’s hands-on approach helps federal agencies achieve streamlined, secure cloud migration with GSA’s cloud.gov platform
“The contractors have performed exceptionally. We are very happy with the work that the contractors have performed for cloud.gov. They collaborate well with the rest of the team, with our clients, have added invaluable support and expertise to the program, and generally go above and beyond for the success of the platform and the team.”
- TechFlow specializes in supporting federal agencies working to meet the federal government’s cloud migration mandate.
- The cumulative government cloud market spend is expected to reach $28.85 billion by 2022.
- According to Deltek’s August 2019 forecast of the federal government cloud market, the government will likely spend $9.1 billion in FY2024 on cloud computing. This represents an increase of almost $4 billion from FY2019.
- In an April 2019 GAO Report, fifteen federal agencies reported receiving significant benefits from acquiring cloud services, including improved customer experience and more cost-effective options for managing IT services.
As the U.S. Government continues to modernize its infrastructure, federal agencies are now required to deploy products in the cloud. Cloud migration is a key initiative whose status is regularly reported to the government’s most senior leaders, including Congress and the President.
Even with world-class technology and innovation, data migration and modernization are not easy. While the topic is critical for every federal agency, each user faces its own unique challenges, from compliance and regulatory issues to ongoing IT management and maintenance.
To support federal agencies in their cloud migration endeavors, the General Service Administration’s (GSA) Technology Transformation Service (TTS) created cloud.gov in 2015. Cloud.gov serves as a secure and compliant Platform as a Service (PaaS) built specifically for government work to deliver services in a faster, more user-friendly way. The platform includes access to some of the most popular Amazon Web Services (AWS) services and is open source.
The platform allows its forty-plus–and growing–government clients (spread across fifteen agencies) to build and host cloud environment applications that meet federal security compliance requirements under a Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FEDRAMP) Joint Authorization Board (JAB) Provisional Authority to Operate (P-ATO). The platform runs on top of industry-provided infrastructure through AWS, enabling expedited development and deployment of cloud applications and helping accelerate and secure government modernization efforts.
But one size does not fit all and deploying agencies have struggled mightily with both the transition and in navigating the platform itself.
Enter TechFlow, which secured a GSA contract in 2019 to support the award-winning platform by applying its enhanced technical capabilities and boosting customer support, leading to a smoother user experience and higher customer satisfaction.
TechFlow spent over a year enhancing and improving the cloud.gov platform. TechFlow’s team first tackled a 4-month (and rapidly increasing) backlog of user requests and outstanding issues that had accumulated due to previous turnover, unfilled positions, and lack of knowledge transfer. The team immediately reviewed the status of every backlogged item, prioritized those issues, and worked to resolve each one within the project’s first 90 days.
After addressing the backlog, TechFlow shifted focus towards its “Always Ahead” mentality, implementing strategic onboarding and consultation to both current and potential cloud.gov tenants.
For new tenants, TechFlow facilitates a kickoff meeting to define the agency’s requirements and ultimate desired outcomes. TechFlow and the agency develop a cost model, followed by detailed onboarding and implementation planning. Then, TechFlow helps the agency develop training and other documentation (following Agile management principles), system architectures and security plans that carefully match organizational objectives.
For existing tenants, TechFlow supports cloud account management and billing, resolves quality issues, and develops enhancements focused on the user experience. TechFlow maintains a very hands-on approach with each agency to ensure it is prepared to fully utilize the platform’s capabilities, thus helping the agency deliver services that are faster, better, and cheaper than in-sourced efforts.
A key piece of TechFlow’s cloud.gov work is digital transformation and adoption activities with current and prospective tenants. TechFlow simplifies and streamlines agency cloud operations by automating many manual operations and developing scripts to run tools and services in cloud.gov. New and existing tenant organizations can share insights and best practices at TechFlow’s bi-weekly “office hours”, where TechFlow invites discussion around each agency’s experience. Agencies benefit significantly from the tools and services in the cloud.gov offering which allows them to focus their time and energy on better serving the American people and staying Always Ahead.
- Starting in 2019, TechFlow experts spent over a year enhancing and improving the cloud.gov platform. No one knows the platform better.
- Within its first ninety days of work with GSA and cloud.gov, TechFlow resolved more than four months of backlogged issues.