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Use The Cloud


Tags: Cloud Computing, Federal Government

The first step for any agency to begin realizing the numerous benefits cloud computing offers is to understand how its use can improve performance and advance an agency's mission. Across the federal government, agencies are adopting cloud technologies in order to address a specific need within their agency. While all cloud service offer advantages, it's important to understand how a particular cloud solution can serve as an agency mission enabler. Additionally, federal managers must also realize that not all IT systems are good fits for migration to the cloud. With these critical concepts in mind, this page highlights ways agencies can and are using the power of cloud computing, and serves as a starting point for your own agency's discovery process.

Social Media

The SEC implements a cloud solution to drastically increase efficiency, capabilities, and responsiveness of its mission-critical Investor Advocacy System...

Cloud services can provide inexpensive, enterprise-wide collaboration tools to help improve your agency's efficiency. Such solutions allow government employees to work with each other and citizens quickly, more often, and more effectively. Social media cloud computing offerings help the government deliver on the promise of a connected and transparent democracy. Social media tools make it easier to create and distribute and discuss content. Social media includes various online technology tools that enable people to communicate easily via the internet to share information and resources. Social media can include text, audio, video, images, podcasts, and other multimedia communications.

Business Applications

Business applications are used to increase and measure productivity and to help a business entity perform its functions. This category includes everything from basic, personal tools used to complete everyday tasks to enterprise-level applications like enterprise resource planning, business process management, and other functions that span the breadth of a business entity. The unique characteristics of the cloud extend and multiply the benefits that business applications offer federal agencies.

Productivity Applications

Office of Comptroller of the Currency streamlines processes, multiplies efficiency, and drastically reduces costs using its cloud-based Vulnerability Assessment System...

Cloud productivity applications allow users to perform daily tasks such as word processing, but also include brainstorming, collaboration, document management, and project management solutions. Familiar to many, these applications allow users to work with each other to: create diagrams, conduct meetings, store documents, manage scheduling, and describe complex processes in a visual form.

Email as a Service

Email is one of the critical components of every organization's toolset and for government is often a natural fit for the cloud. Agencies can consolidate multiple systems and servers to a centralized, more efficient and resilient enterprise-wide email solution that is accessible from any web-enabled computing device. Additionally, cloud email often costs less than installing, managing, and maintaining an internally hosted mail solution.

USDA reduces server and email management sprawl, saves money, and increases collaboration enterprise-wide by transitioning from a legacy email to a cloud-based system...

Agile Infrastructure

NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab leverages the cloud to process images from the Saturn Cassini probe 7200% faster than in-house system...

In a cloud environment, virtual machines can quickly be provisioned and can just as rapidly be spun down as the needs of the agency change. They allow agencies to use as much computing power as they need, and to pay for it via the 'utility' model. Virtual machines and agile infrastructure enable provisioning of a new environment without the need to procure, install, and configure hardware, software, and supporting technologies & processes.

Website Hosting

Benefits.gov hosts site in the cloud to achieve a 60% reduction in cost and improve services to citizens...

Cloud computing offers agencies a more cost-efficient, responsive, and secure method of hosting websites. With cloud hosting, your website has access to scalable resources and 'buy by the drink' pricing.

Mobile Enablement

Cloud cloud enables a richer mobile experience. Mobile applications are no longer confined to the mobile device that they reside on. More and more, mobile developers use the immense power of the cloud to enhance and extend their applications' capabilities.


Rather than purchasing and installing storage that often languish in a near-permanent underutilized state in an agency data center, cloud-based storage presents a viable option where maintenance, backup, provisioning, replication, and space issues are managed by the cloud provider. Additional storage can be easily provisioned as the needs of the organization grow. Cloud storage is one of the most readily commoditized services available, lending itself to the creation of a comparatively simple business case.

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