METI Adopts Desktop-As-A-Service Cloud Computing

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I have been meeting with METI (Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry) for the past three years to advise them on data management and cloud computing. Initially this was in my capacity as the EPA Senior Enterprise Architect and Data Scientist where I pioneered Desktop-As-A-Service and now because I continue to use four cloud systems (MindTouch, Amazon, Spotfire, and Be Infomed) for desktop, security, analytics (big data), and dynamic case management. 

This has been a very interesting and rewarding experience for me both technically and culturally. The METI staff comes in groups of two or more, with a set of questions and presentation materials, and records the entire conversation, but only transcribes and translates it into Japanese. I decided to do my own transcription this time to actually see if what I said made sense afterwards. It did, but I realize that I may have rambled on for a little too long and they might have become bored at the end, but they were very gracious and said it was all interesting and helpful to them!
Most importantly, I was amazed and delighted at what they said: "METI has now started the procurement process of the Next Personal Computers Network System, which will begin operation in November 2012. In this system the whole of METI will adopt cloud computing technology and all METI offices will have a thin-client PC System (Desktop-As-A-Service). This system will realize reduced system costs and enhanced security as well as other benefits."
To realize that what I had said and recommended to them back on November 25th, 2009, had had an impact on them and that they wanted me to recount the history of what my experience had been with Desktop-As-A-Service was quite frankly a little overwhelming, especially to a 30-year career government servant who felt like his advice was largely discounted or ignored by my superiors at the US EPA. If your interested in more detail, I have provided that elsewhere. You know me by know - I document everything.
The METI's Desktop-As-A Service is in sharp contrast with the development of the “Kasumigaseki Cloud” & Local Government Cloud by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) of Japan, as described by Kazutaka Nakamizo, Director for Policy Coordination of the ICT Strategy Policy Division, Global ICT Strategy Bureau, at the recent NIST Cloud Computing Forum and Workshop IV.
The "Kasumigaseki Cloud" is part of a larger government project that was in 2009 expected to create 300,000 to 400,000 new jobs within three years. Gartner's Andrea Dimao recently blogged that "Kasumigaseki can be read as “Fog’s Gate” - What a wonderful name for a government cloud!"
I feel deeply honored by their words to me and others they have consulted with on this: "Since adopting a thin-client system over the whole Ministry is the first attempt to do this in the national government, METI would like to gain sufficient information regarding know-how and hear experiences of managing and controlling information systems that have introduced cloud computing technology, preferably before November 2012, when METI will begin to operate the Next Personal Computer Network System."

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Objectives of Meeting with METI

METI has now started the procurement process of the Next Personal Computers Network System, which will begin operation in November 2012. In this system the whole of METI will adopt cloud computing technology and all METI offices will have a thin-client PC System (Desktop-As-A-Service). This system will realize reduced system costs and enhanced security as well as other benefits.

Since adopting a thin-client system over the whole Ministry is the first attempt to do this in the national government, METI would like to gain sufficient information regarding know-how and hear experiences of managing and controlling information systems that have introduced cloud computing technology, preferably before November 2012, when METI will begin to operate the Next Personal Computer Network System.

We have been informed that the US Environmental Protection Agency (Dr. Brand Niemann, former Senior Enterprise Architect and Data Scientist) has migrated or is planning to migrate to three cloud systems, that is Internet Security Services, Enterprise Service Desk, and Email.

We are sure that reducing system costs is just as important for METI as the US Environmental Protection Agency. METI would like to show how METI has been tacking this issue of adopting cloud computing technology and hear about your experiences and background in migrating three cloud systems.

Hiroyuki Hotta, Senior Analyst, Information System Risk, Information Systems and Welfare Division, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), The Government of Japan,

Questions for Meeting with METI

I have the following questions:

(i) How large is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (number of people and departments)?

17,383 and 14 headquarters offices and 10 regional offices


(ii) How many people in the information systems department are involved in cloud system management? And what kind of information system department is required for cloud system management?

The Office of Environment Information (about 200 staff) contains the information systems department and when I was at the US EPA (until November 2010) only a few like myself were involved in cloud system management. I do not know how many are involved in cloud system management now at the US EPA. Malcolm Jackson (Current Assistant Administrator for OEI and CIO) would know.

A very different kind of information system department is required for cloud system management than the US EPA had because it was based on the "Working Capital Fund Business Model" when I was there which is a very different, even in direct conflict, to the Cloud System Management Business Model where business managers control their own IT resources and acquisitions.

(iii) How do you plan to ensure the security of cloud systems? (How about data location and data confidentiality?)

Please see the recent Amazon Web Services GovCloud Summit II for presentations that answer your questions:

In essence there is now a government certification for the security of cloud systems that vendors like Amazon need to have in order to provide services to the government and provide for data security.

(iv) I was informed that the US EPA introduced a cloud system for email. Is this system prepared by Microsoft or Google? And are cloud systems using a public cloud system such as prepared by Google or Amazon, or private cloud system?

Please see the recent Amazon Web Services GovCloud Summit II for presentations that answer your questions:

Last May 2011, US EPA CIO said: So far, EPA has not decided whether e-mail will be deployed in an EPA private cloud or hosted by a commercial provider, Jackson said.

See:, and

The current US EPA email system is IBM (Notes) and private and the new GSA Collaboration and Email Cloud System is Google and private. Again

(v) Are cloud systems for email service, Internet Security Service and Enterprise Service Desk Service compliant wih FISMA (Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002?).

They have to be if the US Federal government and its agencies want to use them.

(vi) How is the e-mail system associated with the Email-As-A-Service System that GSA announced in a $2.5 billion (five-year blanket purchase agreement) RFQ this May?

GSA's CIO Casey Coleman addressed at the recent Amazon Web Services GovCloud Summit II, but here presentation slides where not posted:

i would suggest you contact her and her staff for details firsthand.

(vii) How do you secure the security of cloud system? (Is the data located in the United States and how about data confidentiality?).

Please see previous answer to (iii) above and see for example:

(viii) Do you think new work styles, such as teleworking, will be facilitated by introducing the cloud system?

Absolutely! Again GSA CIO Casey Coleman had used that as a principal business reason to justify the new Cloud Collaboration and Email System they have bought and deployed.

(ix) Do you have any plans to introduce BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)?

Yes, all three secure cloud tools that I use (MindTouch, Sporfire, and Be Informed) provide information on both conventional devices like desktop PCs and laptops as well as mobile devices.

My Response for Meeting with METI

I just had a chance to read the attachments for this upcoming meeting. I am no longer with the Environmental Protection Agency so I cannot speak to their specific plans for cloud computing although I did pioneer Desktop-As-A-Service while the EPA Senior Enterprise Architect and Data Scientist and continue to use four cloud systems (MindTouch, Amazon, Spotfire, and Be Infomed) for desktop, security, analytics (big data), and dynamic case management, that I could talk about. 
My most recent work for the US Department of Defense the past four months is at:

Transcription of Interview for Meeting with METI

DRAFT on 11/22/2011

Let me first explain that I am not longer with the US EPA, I was their for 30 plus years, and started the cloud desktop computing effort, and continue to do now on my own, with the clients that I have, so I cannot speak now with full authority like I used to about what EPA is doing, but I generally know what they are doing because I help them start it.
I am very excited about what you are doing and afterwards I will go through your papers in detail and answer your written questions.
I will give you the summary answers now. EPA has about 18,000 staff and it is a small, independent agency, not a Cabinet-level agency, but its Administrator sits at the table with the other Cabinet-level agencyies in meetings with the President. It is meant to be independent of those that are regulated and environment interest groups.
I was in the Office of the Assistant Administrator for Environmental Information which is lead by a CIO, Malcom Jackson, who I saw two days ago at the EPA Apps for Environment Contest, and has about 200 staff.
Its business model is called Working Capital Fund because its gets its money from the program offices. It says to the Program Offices if you want us to run your IT systems, then you have to give us say 10% of your budget. Congress does not normally fund overhead items like IT infrastrucuture so money to support that has to come out of business programs that Congress funds.
This is in direct conflict with the business model for cloud computing where those that control the money can go to cloud computing service providers directly and get IT infrastructure services usually at much lower cost and on better terms than internally.
What I did that was pioneering was to follow the overall CIO for the US Government, Vivek Kundra, in implementing my EPA desktop in the cloud. Vivek Kundra decided that he was not going to change the government overnight to cloud computing, so he required that each agency migrate three major IT initiatives/systems to the cloud in 18 months.
In response, most agencies said they would do the easiest things first like email (e.g. EPA) while a few said they would do more like email and collaboration (e.g. GSA).
Now I was the first one to do all of that and more and I wrote it up in a business case because Vivek Kundra said enterprise architects like myself would have to write up business cases, so I did and published it.
As far as I know my business case was the first in the government and involved putting everything I did on my EPA desktop in multiple cloud computing tools at little or no cost.
What I found was that the typical EPA desktop was costing $25,000 per seat which consisted of the hardware, software licenses, help desk, and data centers. I reasoned that I could do all four for free or nearly free because I got the software vendors to give me trial versions so I did not have to do any procurement.
Fast forward to the present where at the recent Amazon Gov Cloud Summit II they announced "provision not procure." See my AOL Story and Proceedings. It took what Vivek Kundra and Van Roekel have said one big step further because with their cloud computing program you still had to go through the time-consuming security and procurement process - now Amazon and others have the government-wdie security certifcation and you can just use a credit card to get services for as low as 10 cents/hour. I have done this myself and its is great! Amazon has worked out the software licensing issues so if you have a legal software license you can install and run it in the Amazon Cloud. Just like you are running it on your own server but at a much higher cost.
My EPA desktop cloud tools were already running in the Amazon Cloud.
Five agencies talked about how they are doing this at the Amazon Gov Cloud Summit II (GSA, CIA, NASA, NGA, and TRAC). For eample, the NASA representative showed how he provisioned 50 Amazon servers to run his calculation on big data. When he was done, the cost stopped because he had not procured the servers.
This is the dramatic new development in federal cloud computing. There two big problems with Vivek Kundra's cloud computing program: security and procurement. Now these problems have been largely solved or at least expeditied. In fact some say that the security from cloud service providers like Amaxon is better than the government does for itself.
What I did is still ahead of what most agencies are doing - most are thinking about email, some about collaboration, and a few about analytics. I do all three and at the individual level, while most are still working on it at the agency level.
I did it at the individual government worker level - I said I know what I what to do with data - I just need the tools to do it and I cannot afford the $350/hour that this kind of Working Capital Fund work requires - I can do self-service, thank you, faster, cheaper, and better.
So what happens to people like myself is they become the "go to person" in the organization for quick results - hours or days rather than weeks or months. The person that does not want to either go to the IT shop or do it themseleves come to them for help.
I ended up doing dozens of applications with others data and championing this self-service approach as a way to achieve greater efficiency and cost saving during a time of severe budget reductions and increased demands for improved performance - doing more with less as we said.
All one needs is someone to protect the champion for this approach from retalliation from those this affects adversely like the Working Capitol Fund proponents.
An important lesson in all of this with the cloud is that it is not where you put your data, but how you put it there. You need to put your data there with enough intelligence and semantic interoperability that it is just not moving a silo to a new location. It has not made the data any more understandable, useful, and accesible - to increase the value of the data.
I get invited to give cloud computing tutorials at conferences and workshop - most recenlty at the DoD and Government Data Center Consolidation Conference in Washington, DC, where I gave the opening tutorial to people that come primarily to learn the mechanics of data center consolidation - space, energy, culture change, etc.
I show them how to make their data more intelligent and semantic interoperable when they move it to the cloud.
The DISA Cloud Computing claimed success by reducing the time for a new server from 12-18 months down to days-weeks, but clearly Amazon is now ahead of that so DISA will have to change to compete.
I think you are on the right track by bring it down to the personal level with Desktop-as-a-Service. So you have to deal with both desktop and servers when moving to the cloud. So I can do that with my three principal tools: MindTouch, Sporfire, and Be Informed. These are available on mobile devices (iPad), secure, and scalable.
It is not just a matter of installing your software on the Amazon server - it needs middleware to make it scalable like RightScale - do handle the spiky nature of demand from a large group.
So I focused on making data more accesible in a library of applications like the iPhone. This is what I recently entered for the EPA Apps for the Environment Contest and wrote an AOL Government Story. My point was that individual contests do not promote a sustainable ecosytems of apps for wide government use. The government needs to transition conventional software development into development of data apps.
Writing of conventional software is becoming increasing costly and failure prone so one needs to transition beyond that with desktop cloud tools. See my video on YouTube: Google my Name Brand Niemann and EPA Apps for the Environment that describes in 10 minutes how I did and am doing this in three phases.
Specifally the three tools I use: What one tool would allow me to do most of what I do on my EPA desktop - I selected MindTouch which is like a wiki but more powerful - called the Swiss Army knife of collaboration tools; it did not support high-powered analytics and visuaizations so I selected Spotfire where you can drag and drop a spreadsheet on it and you get an initial visualization for managers and decision-makers; I was abke to consume lots of data and integrate it with its metadata in MindTouch; and finally I wanted to do Dynamic Case Management - a very recent development - that especially an organization that implements legislation and rules needs as a basis for most of its works. The later is also especiall good for Help Desk support because of the many special cases it handles that require updating/re-designing the system.
The premier tool for this is Be Informed and I spoke at a conference in Europe about it.
Each of these three tools provides its own return on investment and they feed into one another. I do not know one another else who is using these three tools and I am speaking about that on Federal News Radio latter today.
If you know how to use these tools and can get at the data, you can show how cloud computing tools can reproduce dashboard results faster, cheaper, and better. I also feel that government systems development work should separate the database building part for the actual system development so the database is open and available to others and the system is a cloud tool that is available to others as well. I suggest the Japanese government pilot this approach. Be Informed did this successfully for the Dutch government and Gartner and Forrestor have written it up as a case study.
Government CIOs should only serve for 12 months so they are risk takers and not job climbers and are retained beyond 12 months if they produce significant change.
Informal conversation continues.

Agencies Have Identified 78 Systems Migrating to the Cloud

Note: Handout a Meeting with METI I was asked to comment on.


Agency Service Name Description
Commerce Capital Planning Software The Department of Commerce (DOC) has moved its capital planning toll (eCPIC) to GSA's private cloud platform. This budget management and reporting tool allows DOC to more effectively manage its resources and track how it is spending taxpayer dollars. By moving to a cloud solution, DOC is now able to have a centralized capital planning toool across the agency - allowing for insight into all oprograms at onec instead of each program in isolation.
Commerce Website Hosting The US Census Bureau used cloud computing technology during the 2010 Decennial Census to provide cost-effective and accurate delivery of its services to the public. Prior to the 2010 Census, the US Census Bureau had no direct experience upon which to to guage the level of new infrastructure it would need to handle the elevated traffic to its website. The 2010 Census.ov website attracted up to five million hits a week at its peak, double the traffic of the bureau's legacy website. Additionally, by using a cloud solution the Census Bureau was able to feature video clips, blogs and other interactive content aimed at motivating citizens to participate in the 2010 Census.
Commerce Collaboration Services and Information Portal The Commerce CIO Council currently has no centralized collaboration environment and does most of its work via email. DoC is looking to cloud solutions to provide an online resource library for agency staff, reduce the number and size of email messages, enable calendar sharing, automate workflow where helpful, enhance the efficiency in responding to data-calls (e.g. enable online submission of data-calls responses), and provide a real-time collaboration environment with multiple authors contributing to a document simultaneously.
Commerce Email The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is in the process of moving its 25,000 employees' email, calendar and collaboration tools to the cloud. By moving to cloud-based services, NOAA will be able to replace approximately 19 email servers, various home grwon collaboration servers and two separate calendar systems all managed within the current NOAA infrastructure. The cloud-based service will improve reliability with built in redundancy, improve the ability to conduct e-discovery and greatly enhance NOAA's ability to collaborate among a geographically dispersed enterprise.
Commerce Document Management The Trademark Document Retrieval Systems offers the public and US Patent and Trademark Office staff an advanced electronic portal for viewing, downloading, and printing an array of information and documents in the offical trademark application file, including all decisions made by trademark examining attorneys and their reasons for making them. It allows users to download the trademark artifcats in both their native/original frmat as well as in PDF (the previous system omly allowed PDF downloads), provides access to larger size documents than before (up to 11,000 pages), and gives users access to multi-media files (the older system only showed image files).
DHS Employment Verification
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) launched E-Verify Self Check in March 2011 as a free, Internet-based service application that workers can use to confirm employment eligibility in the United States. Self Check is currently available in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Mississippi, Virginia and the District of Columbia, and it will be available nation-wide within the next 12 months. This new service improves the security posture of government IT systems by providing a mechanism by which DHS can validate identity and therefore control secure access to
applications and services.
DHS Data Center Services (Private Cloud)
DHS is implementing a private cloud capability within its two enterprise data centers to enhance sharing sensitive
information across the Department. By June 2012, DHS will have migrated 100,000 email boxes and 90,000 collaboration accounts to these new services, and the more than 230,000 DHS employees will be able to use enterprise-wide authentication services, streamlining their access to departmental applications and services.
DHS Website Hosting
DHS is in the process of consolidating all of its public-facing websites. Currently, DHS uses different and disparate content management system platforms, which are managed and hosted independently, making it difficult for users to easily find information about DHS services. By June 2012, DHS will migrate 50% of its primary public websites to a public cloud hosting service, which will reduce hosting costs up to 10%. Each  website on this service will be  available 100% of the time, ensuring DHS information is always available to the public.
DoD Multimedia Portal
The Naval Systems Sea Command (NAVSEA) is in the process of deploying a cloud-based multimedia tool to communicate information to its Undersea Warfare Center Division. NAVSEA's Enterprise Real-Time Digital Signage (NERDS) communicates instantaneously to viewers different types of services (news, emergencies, weather conditions, etc.), augmenting traditional communication, such as email, intranet, Internet, and printed
media, by displaying content on digital displays connected to media players. In order to do this effectively, NAVSEA needs a solution that allows for rapid prototyping as well as an application that does not require a software footprint on a user's computer. NAVSEA is leveraging the Defense Information Systems Agency's (DISA) cloud infrastructure offering, the Rapid Access Computing Environment (RACE) in order to develop and host NERDS and is expected to be fully operation by December 2011.
DoD Application Development and Testing Environment
The United States Army (Army) has a need to develop small web and mobile applications in order to support its troops at home and abroad. From March 15 to May 15, 2010, the Army sponsored its first internal application development challenge called Applications for the Army (A4A). The Army leveraged DISA's RACE in order to provide teams with a solution in order to build applications but also test them on emulated BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Google Android, and other mobile applications without having to provision hardware. During the 60 day A4A competition, over 140 soldiers and Army civilians developed over 50 applications for use within the Army.
DoD Trip Cost Estimator
The Department of Defense's (DoD) Trip Cost Estimator (TCE) is a web-based budget planning tool that allows users to calculate the travel costs of temporary duty assignments, including air, hotel, car, and meals. By hosting this service in the cloud, DoD will be able to extend access to the entire Federal government.
DoT Geospatial Services
The Department of Transportation (DOT) is implementing a cloud-based Geospatial Information System platform, which will visualize transportation-related data through maps and other tools to make them more understandable and useable. In addition, the data will be presented in formats that other users can download and use in their own applications. DOT has at least 30 data sets that will be ready for the platform when it is released in Summer 2011.
DoT Application Development and Testing
DOT has a need to create or certify up to 50 small, businesscentric applications a year. Currently, creating these
applications incurs a high cost and takes a long time. By implementing a cloud-based platform called Agility, DOT will be able to create small applications quickly at a lower cost.
DoT Website Hosting and Content Management
DOT is creating a central, collaborative web management tool hosted in the cloud. This Content Management System will help standardize content for consistency across DOT websites, while reducing the time and cost of development. By summer 2011, DOT will migrate its initial modal website to this new management tool. Up to three additional websites are expected to be deployed the following year.
Education Survey Services
The Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) collects data on key education and civil rights issues in our nation's public schools for use by the Department of Education (Education) as well as policymakers and researchers outside of Education. The CRDC collects information about students in public schools, including enrollment, educational services, and academic proficiency results, disaggregated by race/ethnicity, sex, limited English proficiency and disability. By moving to a cloud solution, the CRDC was able to survey over 15% more school districts and make the surveys easier for districts to fill out by tailoring each survey so only applicable information was requested.
Education Agency Private Cloud Services
Education is implementing a private cloud capability to offer Infrastructure as a Service offerings internally. By consolidating Education’s IT infrastructure under this offering, Education is expecting improved asset utilization by 60-70%, a reduction in overall costs, improved service to its users, and greater agility in demand across the agency.
Education Email
Education is making efforts to shift to cloud deployment for email. Education plans on migrating to a split-domain hybrid model allowing for some users to run on-premise and some to run in the cloud. Education plans on migrating up to 6,200 inboxes to the cloud in an effort to reduce cost and increase operational efficiencies.
Energy Website Hosting
The Department of Energy's (DOE) main website is currently hosted on an internal hosting environment. DOE is in the process of moving to a more robust cloud hosting environment in an effort to reduce service costs by up to $50,000 a year while providing an enhanced platform and modernized services for citizen engagement.
Energy Digital Certificate Security Services
DOE’s Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) creates, manages, distributes, uses, stores, and revokes digital certificates for DOE websites and other services. DOE is in the process of moving its PKI from an internal solution to a cloud model that reduces the number of systems from nine to three and also provides a high availability environment, both of which will result in overall service cost reductions for DOE.
Energy Grants Management
DOE processes thousands of grant applications a year. Currently, DOE processes grants across 30+ offices. DOE is in the process of developing a single enterprise-wide, end-to-end grants management system that will use a standardized process for the management of grants. By using a cloud system, DOE will now have insight into grants (from application to award) across all offices in an effort to streamline the grants process and strive to reduce the overall cost of a grant transaction.
EPA Internet Security Services
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has moved to a cloud-based  service in order to provide the agency with perimeter security and intrusion detection capabilities on its infrastrucuture. This allows EPA to have timely identification and response to energing Internet threats and cyber attacks on its network and systems. By moving to a cloud solution, EPA was able to realize a threes times performance increase at the same current cost.
EPA Enterprise Service Desk Services EPA is looking to the cloud to provide its enterprise service desk infrastrucuture. By moving to the cloud, EPA expects the agency will be able to execute more effective call center/help desk incident and problem management activities while taking advantage of basic economies of scale. The cloud model is expected to consolidate 12 existing agency IT Help Desks.
EPA Email The EPA has endeavored over the last several years to consolidate a highly distributed e-mail hosting infrastrucuture - reducing both the number of hosting locations and the total number of servers required to serve EPA's federal contractor staff. These efforts give EPA a strong technical transition goverance strucutue allowing EPA to analyze cloud email solutions in an effort to reduce the overall cost of its current email solution and provide more reliable services to more than 25,000 users.
GSA Email
The General Service Administration’s (GSA) current email solution is hosted on traditional infrastructure. GSA is in the process of moving to a cloud hosted solution for more than 17,000 users. This new cloud solution will provide faster upgrades, reduce costs to centralized management, reduce need for lengthy and costly procurements of IT assets, and overall better customer service. Additionally, GSA will save over $3 million a year (a reduction of 50%) in operating costs by using a cloud solution.
GSA Power Management Services
GSA has installed MaaS360, a cloud-based service, on each GSA workstation. MaaS360 manages the power settings for more than 17,000 GSA workstations and OCIO infrastructure servers. By using a cloud solution, GSA is realizing more than $200,000 in savings over the software MaaS360 replaces. It will also help GSA see over $400,000 in cost avoidance due to reduced power costs, and reduce GSA's carbon footprint by over 4.8 million
carbon pounds a year.
GSA Correspondence Tracking
GSA is currently implementing a cloud solution in order to document communication that has been received from
Congress and associated agency responses. By using a cloud solution, GSA will be able to track when a correspondence has been received all the way until a response has been processed across the entire agency.
HHS Agency Private Cloud Services
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) designed and is in the process of creating and operating three private cloud implementations designed to incorporate JAVA-based systems and databases to create applications for use across the FDA. By using the cloud, FDA was able to reduce systems to service by a ratio of 24 to 1 which reduced comparable hosting costs by 87.5%.
HHS Reports Management
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is deploying its Audit Resolution system as a cloud-based service. The system links audit reports with the appropriate grantees. By launching it in the cloud, ACF is expecting to reduce the cost of hosting this solution by 49%.
HHS Grants Management
ACF has shifted the development environment for its comprehensive grants management system,, to a cloud-based infrastructure in February 2011. By migrating the production environment to the cloud, ACF expects to be capable of supporting periods of high-volume processing with over 25,000 grants processed per year.
HUD Infrastructure Services
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) currently uses a traditional hosting environment for its Storage Area Network. By moving to a cloud-based model for this service, HUD expects to cut the provisioning time for new servers and storage space by 50% as well as have more predictable costing for services used.
HUD Email Infrastructure
HUD's current email system, Lotus Notes, was previously hosted on traditional infrastructure. HUD is migrating the 13,000 users on this hosting solution to a cloud solution. HUD expects to have faster and more agile provisioning while experiencing more predictable costs.
HUD Email
HUD is currently exploring transitioning its email and SharePoint services for 13,000 users to a cloud technology solution. The current email and SharePoint environment is supported via a traditional infrastructure managed service requiring dedicated software, services, storage, and management components. By evaluating a cloud environment, HUD expects to have faster provisioning of new users, be able to rapidly scale services, and have more predictable costs for the services used.
Interior Email
The Department of Interior (DOI) is looking to the cloud to replace its current email solution. By moving to the cloud, DOI will replace 13 separate email systems with a single email system that supports approximately 85,000 users across DOI. The resulting cloud-based system will provide new capabilities such as instant messaging and a guaranteed uptime of 99.9%.
Interior Website Hosting is DOI’s primary website used for communicating with DOI's various stakeholders and broad constituency with over live million visits a year. DOI currently hosts in a traditional hosting environment and is susceptible to service outages when there are surges in hits on the site. By moving to a cloud-based implementation, DOI will improve reliability due to a guaranteed uptime of 99.9%.
Interior Collaboration Services
The National Fire Plan Operations and Reporting System (NFPORS) is a web-based service that collects and reports on the plans and accomplishments of six Federal agencies in reducing the impacts of wildland fires on Federally-managed lands. NFPORS is moving from its current hosting solution to a cloud-based implementation that will reduce operational costs by $90,000 over four years, a 60% reduction in cost.
Justice Infrastructure Services
The Department of Justice (DOJ) is looking to the cloud to provide a hybrid cloud storage solution for the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) to increase the overall data storage capacity for all United States Attorneys Offices (USAO) and reduce the overall cost of data storage for the organization (reduce cost per gigabyte of storage). DOJ plans on procuring a 100 terabyte vendor storage solution to allow 18,000 USAO
employees across 250 locations and 94 districts to have an easily accessible storage service within the USAO Wide Area Network.
Justice Email
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is looking to move its 7,500 users in 260 office locations across the country to a cloud hosting solution. By moving from its current solution to a cloud solution, ATF expects to reduce operational costs by $100/user per year, eliminate over ten servers, improve scalability, add enterprise collaboration services, add email archiving, and increase service reliability.
Justice Capital Planning Software
DOJ is moving from its current capital planning tool to GSA's private cloud offering (eCPIC). DOJ will use GSA's solution for investment planning, lifecycle cost tracking, portfolio management and annual budget exhibit preparation and reporting to the Office of Management and Budget. By moving to GSA's cloud offering, DOJ will eliminate the internal costs of approximately $50,000 per year for software hosting, security management, software maintenance testing, and help desk support.
Labor Website Hosting
The Department of Labor (Labor) uses in order to provide thousands of resources to create an interactive, community-driven information network of disability-related programs, services, laws and benefits to the American public. By using a cloud hosting solution, the Department expects to avoid 60-75% of additional bandwidth charges and save approximately $55,000 per year. Additionally, this cloud solution will allow to triple the number of people it serves by making it possible for the site to host special events for
outreach, a capability not previously available.
Labor Email
Currently, the Department of Labor has nine different email systems serving over 17,000 email inboxes. Labor is looking to the cloud in order to consolidate these email solutions into a unified email solution which will achieve cost savings as well as provide new collaboration capabilities not available currently.
Labor Email Archiving
Currently, the Department of Labor provides email archiving on a traditional dedicated infrastructure platform. In order to save costs and provide for a more robust email archiving solution, Labor is in the process of analyzing cloud solutions for its 17,000 users.
NARA Email
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is in the process of developing a cloud email pilot in an effort to improve email services for its 5,500 users. NARA is looking to validate the functionality of cloud email systems including record storage, management and export, human interface and usability, and addressing training issues and challenges.
NARA Employee Records Management
NARA uses the cloud-based Security Clearance Tracking System (SCTS) to manage and track data for over 6,000 background investigations and security clearances. NARA previously utilized multiple systems and spreadsheets that separately tracked data for staff, visitors and contractors. This new system allows for better management of tasks and data by integrating capabilities of the legacy systems into a single system while also uniting multiple data sources into a single authoritative data source. By integrating directly with the Office of Personnel Management’s eDelivery system, SCTS has reduced the time it takes to process completed background investigations from 2 weeks to 2 days.
NARA FOIA Case Management
NARA is moving to a cloud solution in order to concurrently manage and track cases for mediation of FOIA requests cases as well as provide a public web portal to communicate to and educate the public on matters related to FOIA and FOIA disputes. This new web portal will allow for online submission of service requests as well as status of requests – something that is not available currently. With more than 500 cases expected in Fiscal Year 2011, NARA is expecting that a move to the cloud will solve 10-15% of FOIA requests before they are made due to the self-help portal and reduce overall case time from 25 days to 15 days.
NASA Geospatial Services
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is launching a cloud-based service called Climate@Home. Through Climate@Home, users will help quantify uncertainty in existing weather and climate models. This service will allow NASA to collaborate directly with citizens in using NASA's Earth Science data and modeling capabilities.
NASA Geospatial Services
NASA is in the process of launching the cloud-based SERVIR project - a Regional Visualization and Monitoring System. SERVIR will allow for improved monitoring of earth observations and predictive models - like increased understanding of how many residents are displaced during natural disasters, or where forest fires are likely to occur - giving government officials, scientists, researchers, and the public a greater ability to deliver meaningful results for American citizens as well as people in developing countries in areas like health, food security and water.
NASA Document Management
NASA is launching a cloud-based Electronic Forms service for management of institutional operations. This service will allow NASA to automatically route documents for signatures, approvals, and other purposes in a single solution to be used agency-wide.
NRC Capital Planning Software
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is moving its capital planning tool (eCPIC) to GSA's private cloud hosting platform. This budget management and reporting tool allows NRC to more effectively manage its resources and track how it is spending taxpayer dollars. By moving to the GSA cloud, NRC will save approximately $50,000 per year.
NRC Virtual Meeting Services
NRC is implementing GoToMeeting, a cloud-based, Web-enabled service that lets users conduct virtual meetings online – making presentations, sharing information, and holding live chats – with participants both inside and outside the agency. In March 2011, GoToMeeting was being used by 18 NRC offices, saving an estimated 1,000 staff hours per year in travel time for meeting participants.
NRC Emergency Notification Services
NRC currently does not have a system to notify employees of important information such as work closures and emergencies. NRC is implementing a cloud-based, web-enabled Employee Notification System that maintains employee contact information. The system will be used to send emergency broadcast messages to NRC's more than 4,200 employees by text message, voice mail, email, and other applicable methods.
NSF Email Disaster Recovery
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has over 2,100 staff at its headquarters that use email on a daily basis to conduct business. NSF is implementing a cloud-based disaster recovery email service to provide immediate continuity of operations for email services, ensuring that all headquarters staff will still have access to email in case of a disruption in services due to natural disasters, electrical problems at a data center, etc.
NSF Records Management
NSF currently has a legacy file system infrastructure that hosts all historical records that the agency is required to maintain. In order to enable more rapid and efficient management and archiving of records, research proposals, and award records, NSF is implementing an e-Records solution in the cloud. By utilizing an infrastructure as a service model, NSF will have optimal hosting of records which will now also be indexable in searches, something not available currently on the legacy system.
NSF Collaboration Services
Collaboration services are critical to the work of NSF – allowing the agency to share information between NSF staff and the research community. NSF is in the process of migrating its existing collaboration services, both internal and externally facing, to a public cloud environment.
OPM Website Analytics Services
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) manages over 30 separate websites and tracks over three million visits per month. In order to ensure that its websites are delivering relevant content to its visitors – and to ensure that content is being delivered in a timely fashion – OPM will implement a free cloud web analytics service. With this service, OPM staff will be able to analyze web traffic (number of visitors, page views, time spent on site, etc.) as well as analyze website errors that impede a positive user experience.
OPM Website Hosting is OPM's main public-facing website, providing critical information to Federal agencies and to U.S. citizens. Traffic to OPM's site is highly variable with large spikes in traffic – sometimes causing outages like during the Washington DC-area snow storms in December 2009. By moving to a cloud solution, can respond dynamically to changes in demand. Additionally, OPM is expanding its cloud hosting solution to begin handling dynamic content with expected cost savings of up to $130,000 a year.
OPM Document Management
In order to have an effective document workflow, OPM uses a document management system which includes correspondence tracking and document review. Currently, OPM hosts this document management system internally. By moving to a cloud solution, OPM is expecting to save $75,000 a year.
SBA Website Hosting is the public-facing internet portal for the Small Business Administration (SBA), with over 10 million visitors a year. is focused on providing small businesses, lenders, and resource partners with information about SBA programs and services. In its current hosting environment, is unable to quickly scale in the event of a demand surge for the website. By moving to a cloud hosting environment, will be able to handle peaks in traffic and ensure the website is always available.
SBA Human Resources Management
SBA’s Human Resources group provides internal-agency services, such as training curriculum and performance
management tools. These services are currently hosted through OPM. SBA plans on migrating these services to a cloud-hosted solution, in an effort to reduce annual infrastructure costs.
SBA Collaboration Services
The Management and Technical Assistance Line of Business will provide enhanced agency and resource partner services to assist more than 25 million small business owners and over 1,000 small business lenders with taking better advantage of SBA programs, services, and loan options. This new service will be developed and implemented in a cloud services solution.
SSA Telephony System Services
Currently the Social Security Administration (SSA) receives 85 million calls a year in order to support retirement, disability, entitlement, and other claims by citizens. SSA has launched a cloud telephony system that will provide faster access to SSA agents and greater efficiency.
SSA FOIA Case Management
When SSA receives a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from a citizen, it must respond in the most expeditious manner possible. Currently, SSA manages this process differently across offices. SSA is currently analyzing cloud solutions that could potentially allow SSA to manage the 30,000 FOIA requests received annually and track them in an integrated system across the agency, providing greater accountability to citizen requests.
SSA Email
SSA currently hosts its email capability internally, at a high cost per user. SSA is currently analyzing cloud hosting solutions to potentially migrate up to 108,000 email inboxes to a cloud solution in an effort to realize cost savings over the current hosting solution.
State Website Hosting
The Department of State's (State) Office of the Historian makes available tens of thousands of government documents, as well as other unclassified publications and databases, regarding the history of State, diplomacy, and foreign relations in a robust way to meet increased public demand. By hosting in the cloud, information is now keyword-searchable and in downloadable form. The website’s broad audience includes
scholars, students, policymakers, and the public in the U.S. and abroad.
State Program Management
The Nonproliferation and Disarmament Fund (NDF) program managers are situated domestically and abroad with limited access to State’s network, providing difficulties in effective management of program goals and budgets. NDF's move to the cloud now allows managers to access the information they need from anywhere in the world to effectively manage and budget their projects.
State Electronic Library
The Ralph Bunche Electronic Library provides all State staff, domestic and overseas, with direct access to a wide variety of information in over 50 databases. The move to the cloud enabled the library to reduce infrastructure and maintenance costs by 66% and provide scalability to meet the increased peak demands of State’s employees.
Treasury Document Management and FOIA Case Management
The Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Initiative allows the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) to electronically capture, store, search/analyze, share and manage documents. Additionally, this initiative will work with current Treasury services to provide more robust functionalities including Go- FOIA/e-Discovery – reducing the median time to respond to a FOIA request by 25 days. Further, by using a cloud environment, Treasury is looking to offer these services for other Federal agencies to leverage.
Treasury Data Center Services
The new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) plans to procure all of its data center services through cloud computing or leased resources in private Federal clouds, and avoid owning any data center assets. Currently, 100% of CFPB's web hosting is hosted in a cloud solution. Additionally, CFPB stood up a cloud data center for development, testing, and production environments in April 2011.
Treasury Website Hosting
Treasury recently moved the website and four other Treasury websites (,,, and to a cloud hosting environment – the first cabinet level agency to do so. By moving to a cloud hosting environment, Treasury has saved over 13% in monthly costs versus the prior legacy hosting solution.
Treasury Business Process Management
Treasury is currently in the process of modernizing the Bureau of Engraving and Printing's (BEP) business process. By moving to a cloud environment, BEP plans to save over 50% in operating and maintenance costs while also automating processes for manufacturing, financial management, acquisition, and supply chains.
USAID Virtual Meeting Services
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) is implementing a cloud-based virtual meeting service that provides online conferencing, file sharing, chatting and whiteboard services. This service, called AIDConnect, will enable USAID's more than 8,000 personnel around the world to collaborate without incurring travel and teleconferencing costs. USAID personnel logged over 1,400 hours in AIDConnect in the month of March 2011, a 20% increase in use over February 2011.
USAID Data Center Services
USAID is migrating its telecommunications infrastructure services to the cloud. Currently, services are centrally managed through an on-site data center. This migration will simplify management and reduce operating costs through the consolidation of the number of physical assets required to maintain the telecommunication infrastructure. USAID is expecting a cost savings estimated at $12.8 million over a fiveyear period.
USAID currently hosts its email infrastructure internally through roughly 115 desktop email servers and 40 mobile email servers worldwide. By moving to cloud-based email, USAID will eliminate physical assets and operating expenditures (technical support, licenses and upgrades, and recurring operational costs), realizing an estimated cost savings of $20 million over a five-year period.
USDA Email
In 2008, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) was operating 21 different email systems across the agency, most with unique functionality, settings, and firewall settings. In order to achieve agency-wide efficiencies and provide a unified email platform, USDA is consolidating over 120,000 email inboxes to a single cloud solution. By moving to this solution, employees across USDA will now be able to collaborate through email, IM, web conferencing, and a global address list they did not have access to before.
USDA Collaboration Services
People everywhere use social media to network, begin new ideas, and be more productive. In order to harness the power of social media internally, USDA has deployed a cloud service called USDA Connect which provides tools such as Profiles, Wikis, Blogs, Communities, Activities, Files and Bookmarks. Currently, USDA has over 107,000 users actively using USDA Connect allowing USDA to reach new heights in inter-agency interaction, productivity, and efficiency.
USDA Document Management and Correspondence Tracking
USDA has over 20 different document and correspondence tracking systems across the agency, most with unique functionality, settings, and firewall settings. In an effort to eliminate redundancy and increase efficiency, USDA will consolidate over 20 systems to a single customer relationship management (CRM) environment in the cloud. By using cloud CRM software, USDA will be able to organize customer information and provide the means to track correspondence across offices and throughout the agency.
VA Email
The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) current email is hosted on an internal solution. VA is piloting 30,000 email inboxes with the hopes of migrating all 417,000 inboxes to a cloud hosted solution. VA hopes to reduce overall cost for email and provide quicker provisioning for new users.
VA Claims Management
One of the many services VA provides to veterans is through the Post 9/11 Veteran Education Assistance Act. In order to process claims through this act, VA uses a cloud development, testing, and hosting environment to create customer-facing software applications. By creating new applications and management with this cloud service, VA has been able to cut education claims processing time by 40%.
VA Claims Management
The Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS) is being developed to process Veteran Compensation and Pension claims in a paperless environment. VBMS is being developed in a cloud environment and has a goal of processing Veterans claims within 125 days, improve claim quality to 98%, and increase overall performance and accountability.
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