Cloud.Gov, SBA Officials Discuss Cloud as a Modernization Enabler

Both Small Business Administration (SBA) CTO Sanjay Gupta and Eddie Tejeda, Director of Cloud.Gov at the General Services Administration’s (GSA) Technology Transformation Services (TTS) organization, agreed this week that a solid cloud foundation can enable future IT modernization or other technical transformation.

As others within SBA have highlighted in recent months, Gupta reinforced that the agency’s cloud transition enabled recent digital transformation successes. Gupta said at June 30 GovLoop event that the agency’s cloud journey has been the “foundational component of the modernization and the digital transformation that we’ve been driving at the SBA for the last two and a half, three years.”

For example, Gupta explained that SBA would not have been able to scale to size or quickly build new business solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic and shift to telework. He emphasized that cloud accelerates the delivery of new IT modernization and business tactics.

“Cloud is an enabler of new solutions, or delivering new solutions, which are required by the business or the SBA’s mission,” Gupta said. “So, if you think of cloud as a destination then you’re looking at the cloud in the wrong manner.”

In discussing the mission of Cloud.Gov, Tejeda added that even the way Federal agencies are thinking about cloud is changing over time. In his time with the program, he said that his organization has had to adapt as the cloud becomes more sophisticated.

“We’ve had to evolve. Things have changed. The cloud has become a lot more sophisticated, a lot more complex. There’s a lot more services out there. Part of what we’ve had to do is adapt and think about our partners. Who are the users? … How do we make it easy for them to access future services?” he said.

Tejeda explained that the infrastructure layer of the cloud is still just the foundation of the new tech. In the future, he said, the focus will be on the tools and technology that can be built on top of that foundation.

“This technology is still just now getting to that stage where we start thinking about these higher-level components that allow for the orchestration and management and making it easier for developers to access these increasing number of services,” he said. His advice for agencies moving forward in their cloud journeys was not to be afraid of experimenting with the new tech.

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