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

Cloud.Gov: Advancing Agency Cloud Migration –

FAST FACTS:

  • Within its first 90 days of work with GSA and cloud.gov, TechFlow resolved four months of backlogged issues.
  • TechFlow supports federal agencies working to meet the government mandate for cloud migration.
  • The cumulative government cloud market spend is expected to reach $28.85 billion by 2022.
  • According to Deltek’s forecast of the federal cloud market, released in August of 2019, 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, 15 Federal agencies reported receiving significant benefits from acquiring cloud services, including improved customer experience and more cost-effective options for managing IT services.

 

CLOUD.GOV: ADVANCING AGENCY CLOUD MIGRATION

“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.”

THE PROBLEM:

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 of the United States.

But even with world-class technology and innovation, migration and modernization is not easy. While the topic is top of mind for every federal agency, each 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 that helps 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 40+ and growing government clients (spread across 15 agencies) to build and host applications in a cloud environment that meets federal security compliance requirements under a Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FEDRAMP) Joint Authorization Board (JAB) Provisional Authority to Operate (P-ATO). Specifically built for government work, the platform runs on top of industry-provided infrastructure through AWS, enabling expedited development and deployment of cloud applications — helping accelerate and secure government modernization efforts.

But one size does not fit all, and agencies initially on the platform struggled both with the transition and with navigating the platform itself.

Enter TechFlow, which secured a GSA contract in 2019 to support the award-winning platform by providing enhanced technical capabilities and increased customer support, which has led to a greater user experience and higher customer satisfaction.

THE SOLUTION:

TechFlow has spent the last year enhancing and improving the cloud.gov platform. TechFlow’s first task? Tackling a 4-month and growing backlog of user requests and issues that had accumulated thanks to previous turnover, unfilled positions, and lack of knowledge transfer. The team immediately began reviewing the status of every backlogged item, prioritizing those issues, and working 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 group’s requirements and ultimate agency outcomes. From there, a cost model is developed, followed by onboarding and discussion of an implementation plan. Then it’s on to developing training and other documentation (following agile management principles), system architectures and security plans that 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 every agency to ensure they are prepared to utilize the platform to the best of its ability helping to 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. By automating many manual operations and by developing scripts to run tools and services in cloud.gov, TechFlow has simplified and streamlined cloud operations. Agencies share insights and best practices at TechFlow’s bi-weekly “office hours”, where TechFlow invites discussion around each tenant’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”.