Fostering Cloud Adoption in DoD

Cloud computing

Current and former Department of Defense (DoD) officials discussed the benefits of using cloud and modernizing their legacy equipment to help accomplish their mission.

“We’ve learned that we don’t need to own all of the infrastructure,” said Rear Admiral David Dermanelian, commander, Coast Guard Cyber Command, during a FedInsider webinar on Tuesday. “If I have a small data center, I can’t compete with the large commercial data centers that will literally have millions of times more capacity than a small agency, like the one I’m representing,” Dermanelian noted.

Dermanelian described how the Coast Guard is moving an application called Auxiliary Data to the cloud to support the 25,000 volunteers in the Coast Guard Auxiliary. “This is creating a great opportunity for us to learn what industry can do, to move that into the cloud so that we can have 25,000 civilians access data, so we can make the best decisions on where to leverage their services.” Dermanelian noted that this move would help the Coast Guard learn more about the security controls, access, and analytics that cloud provides.

“Our ability to build from the foundational blocks, network being one of them, understanding how that network connects to the cloud, how that cloud is going to be connected and who’s going to have access” is another key element of modernization, said David Young, senior vice president of strategic government at CenturyLink.

“The private sector has certainly made the move to cloud, so it’s important to see…that there are huge efforts going on right now trying to address everything from moving to the cloud to also dealing with these thousands of legacy systems and the advent of all these new technologies,” said Dave Wennergren, managing director at Deloitte’s Federal practice and former deputy CIO within DoD.

Wennergren also touched on the legacy systems holding agencies back. “As we turn and look at ourselves at a large organization like DoD, what we find is that these thousands of legacy systems are eating our lunch in terms of money,” he said. Wennergren pointed to the CIA’s adoption of cloud as a big moment.

“If you’re still managing your own infrastructure, you probably need to get over that, because there are experts in the field that have a scale and allow you to only pay for what you use,” he added.

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