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Abort. Adapt. Accelerate. How the Government is Forming Cloud Strategies of the Future

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Over the last two years, government agencies have greatly accelerated their move to cloud computing as a way to empower a remote workforce to keep working. While this move succeeded in keeping the trains running, new challenges emerged. Some cloud implementations proved to be far more expensive than anticipated and now these solutions need to be reevaluated. 

Unexpected costs can be the result of not knowing exactly how an application would perform in a public cloud. Many of these apps proved to be more “chatty” than anticipated, taking up far more resources than anticipated. 2022 will be a year of re-evaluating the best place for applications to live and how best to give workloads access to the data they need.  


This approach is already underway for pre-pandemic cloud efforts. DISA has announced they will not continue MilCloud 2.0 after it expires in May of 2022. The program, which began in 2017, was designed to provide on-premise, unclassified cloud options as well as more off-premise ones with support from Amazon Web Services. Defense agencies were using the service for cloud migrations, application modernization, new application development, and for some emerging technology capabilities. 

While the DoD still has a need for an on-prem cloud, MilCloud 2.0 is not the best option for meeting future requirements. The new goal is to have a mix of commercial and on-premises cloud capabilities located within DOD data centers. With this architecture making systems interoperable for better day-to-day functioning and for unified hosting and compute.


Another legacy cloud program is continuing, but with updates. is the government-specific platform-as-a-service offering that allows agencies to develop cloud applications without needing to manage cloud infrastructure, maintenance, security, or compliance themselves. GSA is looking to build a federated authentication service that does not need to store identity information within the solution. Rather, the service would support multiple federal agency IDPs and  


Moving to the cloud is not all a technical challenge, there are major cultural shifts in how work gets done. Employee training on new cloud applications and how work gets done via these applications is critical to keeping employees up to speed and engaged in new cloud applications. Training must include refreshes on security protocols, new software, and agencies’ policies. 

GovWhitepapers features a wide range of resources addressing best practices when it comes to cloud implementation and modernization: 

  • Issue Brief: ATARC Federal Cloud Infrastructure Survey Results Summary – This paper presents the results of a research study that looked to identify the current status, challenges, successes in the implementation and utilization of Multi-cloud services and solutions in the Federal space. Survey respondents painted a picture of a federal IT landscape that has made substantial progress in its cloud journey but where the challenges associated with multi-cloud management, understanding security and compliance requirements, and achieving FedRAMP ATO for cloud services continues to form a significant barrier.
  • Cloud Security Best Practices Derived from Mission Thread Analysis – This report presents four important security practices that are practical and effective for improving the cybersecurity posture of cloud-deployed information technology (IT) systems. These practices help to address the risks, threats, and vulnerabilities that organizations face in deploying or moving applications and systems to a cloud service provider (CSP).
  • Maximizing the Benefits of Multi-Cloud – The government’s approach to cloud technology has changed dramatically in the years between the 2010 Federal Cloud Computing Strategy, known as Cloud First, and the 2021 Cloud Smart Strategy. The first policy pushed agencies to consider cloud technologies before others, while the second offers actionable advice on how to deploy the technology.
  • Ten Considerations for a Cloud Procurement – Cloud procurement presents an opportunity to reevaluate existing procurement strategies so you can create a flexible acquisition process that enables your public sector organization to extract the full benefits of the cloud. Cloud procurement considerations are key components that can form the basis of a broader public sector cloud procurement strategy. 

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