Cloud.gov, a platform developed by the General Services Administration’s 18F team, reached an important milestone this week, achieving Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program compliance.
This means other agencies have the green light to begin using Cloud.gov for a variety of services, including hosting websites, information management tools and application programming interfaces, and may leverage an existing authority to operate for new workloads rather than independently verify the security requirements.
A slew of leading tech officials celebrated the effort, including U.S. Digital Service Acting Administrator Matt Cutts.
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“This is seriously good and important news to make building things in the government faster and easier. Great work by 18F!” he tweeted.
FedRAMP accreditation is important for Cloud.gov for two key reasons. According to a blog post by 18F, it is the first completely open-source service to meet the government’s strict cloud computing security requirements, considered a barrier to entry for cloud providers in the federal market.
Secondly, the speed at which Cloud.gov achieved compliance—15 weeks to clear the Joint Authorization Board (composed of chief information officers from GSA and the departments of Defense and Homeland Security)—is on par with the rapid efficiency gains the FedRAMP office achieved after changes to its protocol. In September, FedRAMP announced Microsoft’s Customer Relationship Manager Online made it through FedRAMP’s “Accelerated” process in 15 weeks.
Prior to FedRAMP’s tweaks, the office received criticism after some vendors took 12 to 18 months to go through the process. Cloud.gov’s speed to accreditation bodes well for FedRAMP’s future.