MeriTalk conducted a Q&A with Tom Ruff, vice president of Public Sector America’s and Latin American Markets for Akamai Technologies, on cloud adoption. The cloud will be the topic of concern at MeriTalk’s Cloud Connect 2016: Hybridization and Hyper-Scaling event on Nov. 2.

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The Federal government, state and local governments, and higher education institutions are seeing the appeal of adopting cloud offerings in areas such as increased speed and cost savings, according to a recent MeriTalk survey titled “Destination Cloud: the Federal and SLED Cloud Journey.”

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The Defense Information Systems Agency receives notifications for about 800 million alarms a day while providing support for 146 mission partners, and Maj. Gen. Sarah Zabel, vice director, said the agency is trying to grant all 146 partners access to the commercial cloud.

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In the five years since the government has encouraged agencies to transition to the cloud, spending on cloud-based technologies has increased to about 9 percent, which is a good pace, according to Tom Ruff, vice president of Public Sector America at Akamai.

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Unified Communications company collab9 is seeking to give Federal agencies both flexibility and security in communication systems through its recent FedRAMP authorization, the first of a Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) provider. […]

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is taking steps to move all 4,000 of its employees to cloud-based email. To do so, they’ve selected Unisys through a contract worth up to $11.2 million over the course of five years.

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The General Services Administration recently launched its new big data management platform, Data to Decisions, to address and accomplish open data and transparency goals.

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Federal agencies can now use cloud computing systems to store their most sensitive, unclassified data, through the recent release of the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program High Baseline.
“This release allows agencies to use cloud environments for high-impact data, including data that involves the protection of life and financial ruin,” said the FedRAMP announcement.

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Taking the lead for 36 states, Utah is expected to issue a National Association of State Procurement Officials cloud computing contract in August that helps states get the best deal for equipment and software by bundling their shopping lists into a single bid. […]

Time may be running out on the Federal government’s plan to replace and modernize billions of dollars’ worth of legacy IT systems—some of which date back more than 40 years and control critical programs, including the U.S. military’s nuclear arsenal.

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Less than three months after a wave of negative feedback from industry forced the General Services Administration to revamp the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, a new MeriTalk survey shows for the first time that many government IT officials doubt the value of the program in its current form.

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Content management company Box unveiled its Box for Government initiative, which brings together different product suites designed for government and enables agencies to work remotely, collaboratively, and with an assurance of security. Box for Government has already received a FedRAMP Provisional Authority to Operate (P-ATO) from the Defense Information Systems Agency. […]

If cloud computing is the future of government information technology, then Cisco may be one of the most relevant companies in Washington, D.C. Cisco’s FedRAMP authorization—granted by the Department of Health and Human Services—represents a significant development for both the company and the government.

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MeriTalk Executive Editor Dan Verton discusses the theme of this year’s Akamai Government Forum—Safeguarding a Dynamic Government—with Akamai CEO Dr. Tom Leighton. During his keynote address, Leighton offered a unique look at the future of the Internet and security.

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The Office of the Director of National Intelligence plans to hire its first chief information officer to take charge of IT programs across the ODNI’s 20 component offices, particularly the effort to retire legacy IT systems and migrate users to the cloud.

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For FITARA to reach its full potential, Federal agencies must dissect the real problems and attract stronger CIOs, Dave Powner, Director of IT Issues at the Government Accountability Office, told MeriTalk’s FITARA Forum in Washington, D.C.

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Just 11 percent of Federal IT managers say their data centers are fully equipped to meet their agency’s current mission demands, according to a report by MeriTalk. The report, titled “Flash Forward–The Future of the Federal Data Center” and underwritten by Pure Storage, asked 150 Federal IT/data center professionals to predict and examine the future […]

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Two months after a cloud industry advocacy group published a scathing assessment of the Federal government’s cloud computing security certification process and took their concerns to Capitol Hill, the General Services Administration’s FedRAMP announced significant structural changes to the way the government will assess cloud service providers.

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The Department of Veterans Affairs is on what appears to be an irreversible losing streak when it comes to its annual cybersecurity audit. Last week, VA’s Office of the Inspector General slapped the agency with a “material weakness” designation for its information security efforts—the 16th year in a row that VA has failed the annual […]

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Microsoft Azure was selected for a FedRAMP pilot program that will establish a high-impact baseline for cloud-computing services. This essentially allows Federal agencies to move more sensitive data onto contracted cloud-computing services, enabling the sensitive data to operate on the more technically advanced level that is already possible for low-impact data.

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A representative of a Federal cloud computing industry advisory group filed a formal complaint this week with the General Services Administration’s inspector general alleging officials from FedRAMP issued veiled threats of retaliation against member companies that publicly voiced concerns about problems with the cloud security certification process.

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