Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam orders state agencies to the cloud

Published: September 19, 2018

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The order requires agencies to submit cloud migration plans to the state's IT department starting this December.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam recently issued an executive order requiring state government agencies to shift their information technology services to cloud-based platforms. Commonwealth offices will now be tasked with developing plans to identify locally hosted IT systems that can be migrated to a cloud provider over the coming years.

In moving the state's IT functions to cloud-based systems, Northam's administration is looking to speed up delivery of business solutions, reduce its operational costs and maintenance requirements, while adding a layer of resiliency against disasters and service outages. “By incorporating the use of cloud technology, we can continue to make strides on modernizing the Commonwealth’s technology infrastructure and provide Virginians with the rapid and efficient delivery of government services they deserve,” Northam stated via a press release.

This order puts the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) in charge of collecting and overseeing the migration plans for other agencies. By December 1, every state office will be required to evaluate which of its systems are ready to be moved to the cloud, and in January, agencies will identify what resources will be needed to make the moves. At this point, much of the time frame and pricing remains up in the air, but Virginia CIO Nelson Moe expects more information when the next legislative session begins in January.

As has been noted, Virginia recently ended its 13 year contract with Northrop Grumman as the sole provider of IT services in favor a new contract using a multi-vendor model. Under this model, VITA will be able to act as a broker in choosing the right cloud providers as state agencies make these moves. Currently, Virginia uses multiple cloud providers, including AWS and Microsoft Azure, and for vendors working in cloud technologies, this could be a potentially lucrative area to monitor in the coming year.

Source: StateScoop