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3 Reasons the Move to the Cloud is Imperative for the Federal Government

When you hear the term “the cloud,” you might think of your favorite streaming service, the latest app your kids are raving about or a new productivity tool in use at the office. You might not think of the federal government. But federal agencies and departments have been making a move to the cloud since 2011 as part of an IT modernization effort called Cloud First. This initial foray into cloud computing was followed by the Cloud Smart Strategy, delivered in 2018 by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Cloud Smart builds on Cloud First by providing guidance regarding cybersecurity, the procurement of cloud-based systems and training civil servants to foster and adopt cloud technology.

Leaders in the federal government see the move to the cloud as a way to deliver on their mission, to deliver services faster, more intelligently and more efficiently to the American people. These forward-thinkers have a compelling case. Here are three reasons the move to the cloud is imperative for the federal government.

Hear government and industry experts discuss the top reasons that agencies are migrating to the cloud, including advanced capabilities and security, in this on-demand webinar, produced in partnership with federal technology experts GovLoop.

Fast and Flexible Scalability

Testifying before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee on government management, organization and procurement, Dr. David McClure of the General Services Administration summed up the primary benefit of the move to the cloud in a clear, succinct way.

“Cloud computing allows [the] user to provision computing capabilities rapidly and as needed; that is, to scale out and scale back as required, and to only pay for the services used,” McClure said.

Shifting to the cloud would grant the federal government the ability to instantaneously and seamlessly ramp up its computing power. This has serious implications for natural disasters, wars and other crises that strain all government resources, including local servers. According to a Deloitte report on government cloud adoption, the COVID-19 pandemic brought this theoretical benefit to bear.

“Many government organizations,” the Deloitte authors write, “turned to the cloud to solve many of the new challenges the pandemic introduced to their organization – challenges that often required scalability to address unprecedented demand for existing services, agility to set up entirely new programs, and/or flexibility to support both their customers and their workers remotely.”

Dr. McClure’s testimony and the Deloitte report underscore that the move to the cloud offers the federal government the ability to respond quickly to the evolving needs of the citizenry and deliver on its mission.

Workflow Efficiency

It’s in the best interest of the federal government, as it is in any large organization, to maximize efficiency, and to get more done with less effort and less time lost. The move to the cloud helps with that.

Cloud computing is powerful and can better deliver services both everyday people and the federal government depend on. The Army veteran’s experience scheduling an appointment at a VA hospital should be quick and easy. The IRS should have the ability to process payments without a hitch. A journalist should be able to submit a FOIA request in no time. The better these public-facing sites perform, the more efficient the federal government will be.

And the efficiencies aren’t limited to government-to-citizen services. There are also operational efficiencies to be gained within agencies, departments and bureaus.

A move to the cloud will make it easier to aggregate and integrate datasets and applications. This means people in different parts of an agency can work together in perfect synchronicity, even from different states. They can create new data pools that result in insights and efficiencies that didn’t exist before. They can share files and information seamlessly. They can more easily track wide-ranging, cross-departmental projects and invent new applications that better serve the country.

These efficiencies are all made possible by a move to the cloud.

From individual Army garrisons to the U.S. Postal Service, Gordian has been serving the federal government for decades. Click here to see our entire suite of federal solutions.

Cost Savings

Managing physical servers is expensive and time-consuming. The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a nonprofit think tank that promotes policy solutions related to tech and innovation, released a report in June of 2021 that claims cloud infrastructure operational costs are 31% lower than comparable on-premises infrastructure. Especially in an inflationary market, that 31% figure is an enticing reason to move to the cloud, as savings of that magnitude would allow an agency to re-allocate funds to other mission priorities.

Gordian and the Federal Government’s Move to the Cloud

Given these benefits of moving federal software solutions to the cloud, Gordian took the step of completing the FedRAMP authorization process for the Gordian Federal Cloud. This new, verified secure cloud environment is an enterprise-level Software as a Service Solution (SaaS) powered by RSMeans data, the construction industry’s most trusted cost database.

The first Gordian solution to appear on the Gordian Federal Cloud is RSMeans Data Online, a modern, easy-to-use platform that enables users to quickly and accurately create or manage construction estimates, contracts and proposals.

Accessing RSMeans Data Online on the Gordian Federal Cloud ensures that the federal government can harness the scalability, efficiency and cost savings of cloud computing and create estimates they can feel confident in.

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