It’s been seven years since the federal government first announced its “cloud first” strategy, and like most other federal agencies, the Defense Department has already accomplished some of the basics, like migrating its email systems to cloud-based platforms and shifting some applications from government-owned data centers to infrastructure-as-a-service providers.
The next steps may prove more challenging. At its seniormost levels, DoD has made clear that it wants to use cloud technologies at the tactical edge, where reliable network connectivity is never a sure thing. That will mean more adoption of technologies that can securely store and forward data to and from the battlefield whenever communications are available, letting warfighters leverage big data analytics and hyperscale computing from wherever they are.
DoD’s next moves toward cloud computing are also likely to demand a broader rethinking of its approach to network security and identity management. They’ll need to take account of a technology landscape in which the military’s critical data assets are dispersed across a multicloud architecture – some of it operated by the government, and some by various industry partners.
Market Evolution and Cloud Technology
One of the things we’ve been doing is really trying to help our customers understand how we look at security today when we manage our own cloud infrastructure…it’s really a question of what signal do you want to collect to identify that something bad has happened?
Chief Technology Officer, Microsoft Federal
When we talk about multiple clouds, we’re seeing this across the board already … We’e going to see these digital estates grow based on the particular solutions leveraging the best of breed capabilities in each of the clouds.
Susie Adams is the chief technology officer for Microsoft’s Federal Government business and brings with her over 30 years of IT experience. Adams joined Microsoft in 1999 and has held several leadership positions, including director of the Microsoft Reston Virginia Technology Center and CTO of the Federal Civilian business. Prior to joining Microsoft, she spent 16 years in the consulting arena, working with customers in both commercial and government sectors. She held a variety of management and leadership roles, including practice manager, systems analyst and software developer. Adams is a past Fed100 award winner, and has authored several books on the topics of software integration and web development. She is a graduate of George Mason University, where she received a bachelor of science degree in information systems.
Jared Serbu has been covering the Defense Department since 2010 and has filed hundreds of stories on DoD’s contracting, legislative, workforce and materiel issues. Jared has produced multiple news series, which included investigating DoD’s shrinking footprint and the Goldwater-Nichols Act: 25 years later. Jared also hosts On DoD, a weekly interview program with DoD officials.