This article is an excerpt from GovLoop’s recent guide,” 7 State & Local Tech Trends to Watch.” Download the full guide here.
State and local governments are helping their in-state peers by offering them cloud services. Agencies nationwide are benefiting from such arrangements amid tightening budgets, evolving demographics and rising pressure for better digital public services.
Many government providers are giving other organizations Infrastructure-as-a Service (IaaS) or Platform as-a-Service (PaaS) cloud. IaaS provides clients with the IT infrastructure necessary for cloud, while PaaS gives them a platform for developing, running and managing applications. Both styles grant recipients easier access to offerings such as email, identity management and web hosting. In exchange, providers handle IT support and security in a win-win for both sides.
A great example of this model in action is the California Department of Technology (CDT). The CDT is now offering new cloud services through its CalCloud program. Since beginning in 2014, CalCloud has repeatedly added fresh models to meet its customers’ needs.
This year is no exception. In October 2018, CalCloud added Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) Moderate cloud. FedRAMP is an assessment and authorization process federal agencies use for ensuring that cloud services and products meet baseline security requirements. State governments are increasingly embracing FedRAMP to boost cloud security.
“California is the fifth largest economy in the world,” said Chris Cruz, CDT’s Chief Deputy Director and Deputy State CIO. “We have to comply with the highest security standards in the world, and FedRAMP provides that.”
CalCloud already offered cloud services that met FedRAMP High security requirements. The FedRAMP Moderate option allows more relaxed standards without sacrificing cloud’s cost-effectiveness, reliability, safety and scalability. FedRAMP’s different levels rank the sensitivity of data and systems hosted on cloud. Each ranking – low, medium or high – is based on the impact agencies would face if those services, systems or data access points were disrupted.
“It should allow you to sleep better at night, as there’s a certain level of compliance that comes with FedRAMP,” Cruz said.
CalCloud’s services have helped many of California’s agencies adopt cloud more efficiently at a reduced cost. The program is also standardizing cybersecurity and IT infrastructures statewide as more organizations participate.
“They have the opportunity to take advantage of discount pricing and standardized security protections,” Cruz said. “It’s important to put everyone under the same umbrella if we can.”