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White House Details Federal IT Reform

Government website lists the systems agencies plan to move to the cloud and targets for data center consolidation.
Top 20 Government Cloud Service Providers
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Slideshow: Top 20 Government Cloud Service Providers
The White House has posted a list of services federal agencies plan to move to the cloud as one of two new resources for helping agencies and the public keep track of infrastructure consolidation efforts under its IT reform plan.

A list of 25 federal agencies or departments, as well as at least three in-house IT resources each one plans to move to the cloud is now available on the CIO.gov site. It joins an interactive map identifying the location of data centers federal agencies plan to consolidate as a way the federal government is promoting transparency about progress with infrastructure consolidation plans.

Email seems to be the low-hanging fruit of cloud migration; according to the list, it's one of the top systems agencies plan to move to the cloud, with some projects already announced, in progress, or completed.

For example, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) said in February it planned to move 600,000 users to a hosted email system, one of the projects on its online list. In all, 13 of the 25 federal agencies identified email as one of their cloud migration projects.

Other IT systems agencies identified they will move to the cloud include website hosting; application development and testing; and document, records, and claims management, among others.

While agencies were only asked to identify three systems to move to the cloud, some have identified more. The Department of Commerce, for example, is planning five cloud-computing projects: email, website hosting, capital planning software, document management, and a collaboration services and information portal as an online resource for staff.

On the data center consolidation front, 39 centers have already closed this year, officials revealed in May. Agencies plan to close 137 more before the end of the year, with a goal to close 400 by 2015.

U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra unveiled the federal government's 25-point IT reform plan in December; the plan has its six-month anniversary next Thursday.

Earlier this week, several key federal CIOs outlined some of the progress their respective agencies have made against the plan, in particular extolling the virtues of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) TechStat IT project review process as key to making improvements.

In the new, all-digital issue of InformationWeek Government: More than half of federal agencies will use cloud computing within 12 months, our new survey finds. Security, ROI, and management challenges await them. Download it now. (Free registration required.)