Cloud Computing at the U.S. Department of State
Published: August 26, 2021
The U.S. State Department spends nearly $74M on contracted cloud capabilities and services annually.
After years of sustained concurrent efforts the U.S. Department of State continues to see the maturity and benefits of cloud computing to its mission operations. State has offered cloud options at overseas posts and established a technology baseline to increase access to cloud-based applications. In FY 2020, State completed its Microsoft 365 migration and extended access to cloud services and centralized IT support. The State Department has created a shared support model that provides mission owners with centrally-provisioned enterprise cloud services based on mission needs.
Looking forward, State is seeking to leverage cloud capabilities to fill security gaps and to enable more nimble and secure software development processes, as well as further mature its cloud governance processes.
State Department spending on cloud has fluctuated from FY 2018 to FY 2020, rebounding in FY 2020 but down 20% as a whole compared to FY 2018.
The spending fluctuation rippled through the various cloud service delivery types as well. Spending on Infrastructure-as-a-Service grew from $16.8M in 2018 to $18M in FY 2020. Software-as-a-Service spending came in at $13.3M and Platform-as-a-Service spending lags at $4M in FY 2020. The bulk of State Department cloud spending is spread across efforts that touch multiple service delivery types that become difficult to parse into clear-cut categories.
Current and Planned Efforts
Cloud Solution Development Network
In FY 2022, State seeks to allocate $6.5M for their Cloud Solution Development Network, a multi-year, phased project to implement and support a cloud-based development environment to provide financial management support globally. Funds will also support cloud service provider costs, including those associated with infrastructure, storage, hosting, licensing, and contract support. The $6.5M would be a 70% increase from the enacted FY 2021 level.
Real-Time Cloud Collaboration
The State Department seeks $50M for FY 2022 to support their Real-Time Cloud Collaboration effort to support continued implementation of a modern enterprise-wide cloud collaboration suite, including improved Knowledge Management capabilities for greater organizational effectiveness. Funding will also support virtualization of resources such as data storage, applications, servers, and networks to enable greater access to information on demand.
The FY 2022 State Department budget request includes a $44M increase in their IT Central Fund (ITCF) to enhance cybersecurity measures such as cloud security. State is also expanding its use of cloud-based agile DevSecOps to build enterprise-grade capabilities at a lower cost.
Cloud Program Support
State’s Cloud Program Management Office (CPMO) is soliciting a small business to provide cloud-ready application development, cloud services management and other program management support services. An award is anticipated in Q4 FY 2021.