US Dept of Interior Offers $10B in Cloud Contracts

The US government has been one of the biggest supporters of moving their operations into the cloud. The US Department of the Interior has recently noted that they have over $10B in cloud contracts the need fulfillment from FedRamp approved vendors. The Federal Times is reporting that need for cloud is nearly insatiable within the federal government and vendors are lining up to reap the benefits.

CIO Sylvia Burns mentions, “There have been a lot of inquiries.” Burns continues to explain the interest by saying, “We’ve had 15 separate agencies who have approached us asking about using our contract. I think in total, we have had 104 specific inquiries from across the board. We have awarded many orders. I don’t have a specific number for you, but we have awarded several of them. They include things like using Infrastructure as a Service to support our public web hosting needs, and Platform as a Service — we have done that recently with implementations of SAP.”

Burns continues in her interview with the Federal Times by talking about the Cloud First policy instituted by congress and endorsed by President Obama back in 2010. Burns says, “It is changing behaviors because I think now everybody has to consider cloud first. Instead of putting something inside an internal data center or buying servers and putting them in closets, creating your own little mini-data center type of thing, people are really forced, because of the [cloud first] policy, to look at our contract before they start thinking about those things.”

This shift in strategy is a game changer for the federal government. Although the $10B price tag may seem steep, the upfront costs are expected to be recouped with the savings that cloud will provide. The Department of Interior started with 65 datacenters in 2011. Since the cloud migration projects have begun, Burns believes that the cloud will allow her bureau to condense its total data center count down to 37 by 2015 thus saving the Department an Interior a windfall of cash going forward.