Amazon (AMZN) Web Services has scored a big win within the federal government that could result in the ramping up of AWS cloud services deployments by U.S. federal government agencies. AWS GovCloud (U.S.) and all AWS U.S. regions have received an Agency Authority to Operate (ATO) from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP).
That's a long-winded way of saying AWS has met the strict requirements from a governmentwide program that was developed as a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization and continuous monitoring of cloud products and services. Considering the sensitive data being protected, it's no wonder the feds go to so much trouble to ensure they're getting the security and service level required.
And because of this, AWS will be able to serve an even broader range of government agency needs. All U.S. government agencies can now evaluate AWS for their applications and workloads, provide their own authorizations to AWS and transition workloads over to AWS environments.
Potentially, the rewards are huge for AWS and its partners. Currently, more than 300 U.S. government agencies already make use of AWS apps and services in one form or another, but by gaining FedRAMP status, some of the roadblocks to further adoption will be removed.
"Today most government computing systems require built-to-order platforms and applications to meet government security and compliance requirements, which involve time-consuming and costly evaluations. With this FedRAMP compliance, agencies can now utilize a streamlined process from AWS when moving applications to the cloud to meet their unique business and mission requirements," said Teresa Carlson, AWS vice president of worldwide public sector, in a prepared statement.
Some channel partners are already serving U.S. government agencies with AWS GovCloud. Earlier this year, government VAR DLT Solutions added to AWS to its GSA IT Schedule 70 (GS-35F-4543G), NIH ECS III, NCPA, and other agency-specific contracts.
The fight over government cloud money continues, and as more agencies adopt cloud services, chances are AWS and its competitors will all be ramping up their marketing initiatives and hoping to score contracts with the feds.