Final IT report urges agencies to move to cloud, collaboration tools

Maximizing the secure use of cloud computing, modernizing government-hosted applications and securely maintaining legacy systems are the elements of a “modern federal IT architecture” for agencies envisioned in final White House report issued Wednesday.

The report, issued Wednesday in response to President Donald Trump’s May executive order 13800 (Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure), recommends that federal government agencies shift toward a “consolidated” information technology model by adopting “centralized offerings for commodity IT.” To do that (and address what it calls “current impediments to policy, resource allocation and agency prioritization”), the report calls for enabling the use of cloud computing, collaboration tools and other “security-shared services.”

The report defines “shared services” as consolidated capabilities or functions (in services and/or IT systems) that are common across multiple agencies.

More specifically, the report calls on federal agencies take such actions as:

  • Enable use of the “commercial cloud” such as by Improving contract vehicles to enable agencies to acquire commercial cloud products that meet government standards.
  • Accelerate adoption of cloud email and collaboration tools, by providing support for migration to suites that “leverage the government’s buying power,” and define the “next set of agencies to migrate to commercial email and collaboration suites.”
  • Improve existing shared services and provide additional security by using consolidated capabilities that replace or augment existing agency-specific technology to improve both visibility and security.

In making the changes, the report recommends that agencies realign IT resources using “business-focused, data-driven analysis and technical evaluation.”

According to the report, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will inform agencies that their chief information officers (CIOs) work with their chief financial officers (CFOs) and senior agency officials for privacy (SAOPs), in consultation with OMB, to “determine which of their systems will be prioritized for modernization, identifying strategies to reallocate resources appropriately.”

Final IT Modernization Report