Overview Edit

In December 2010, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a Cloud First strategy for federal government computing needs. Under this policy, government agencies will use cloud computing to boost computer operations rather than building expensive data centers.

The strategy required that each agency's chief information officer (CIO) fully migrate three services to a cloud solution by June 2012, and implement cloud-based solutions whenever a secure, reliable, and cost-effective cloud option exists.

The strategy revolves around using commercial cloud technologies where feasible, launching private government clouds, and utilizing regional clouds with state and local governments where appropriate.

To help Federal agencies meet Cloud First requirements, the General Services Administration, in collaboration with several other agencies, established the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP). FedRAMP helps agencies adopt cloud-computing technologies by (1) ensuring that cloud providers have adequate IT security, (2) eliminating duplication of effort and reducing risk management costs, and (3) enabling rapid and cost-effective purchasing of cloud-computing services. By June 2014, agencies were required to utilize only FedRAMP-approved cloud service providers.

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