State Department expands push to the cloud

The State Department wants to go all in on the cloud, starting with a new multiplatform toolset to add flexibility and innovation to IT services.

The State Department is looking to extend its push to the cloud, with an eye to transforming the way it pays for technology while modernizing its application portfolio and moving decisions about software closer to business owners.

In an Aug. 6 request for information, the department said announced it "would like to shift development activities closer to the business owner" and an application platform as a service model (aPaaS) could support this transition by supplying tools to prototype, test and make decisions about applications quickly.

The RFI suggests a shift from "buying with a focus on final operational capacity" to only paying for IT services consumed will allow the department to better work with changing IT expenditures while increasing innovation and improving its return on IT investments.

The State Department says it's considering adopting a multiplatform application which offers no code and low code architecture, allowing "citizen programmers" with minimal programming experience to build and deploy applications. The RFI requires the multitenant enterprise capability tool to provide support for machine learning and artificial intelligence and says the program must be approved at the FedRAMP moderate level.

The State Department began moving its operations to the cloud in 2019, while facing unique challenges securing critical IT infrastructure in environments with adversarial activity and other cybersecurity concerns. The department maintains nearly 300 embassies, consulates and diplomatic missions in over 190 countries around the world, and has spent more than $2 billion on IT each fiscal year since 2019.

This article first appeared on FCW, a Defense Systems partner site.