(Cross-posted from the Official Google Enterprise Blog.)
Everyone benefits from cloud computing, though few stand to benefit more than government. The cloud helps agencies at all levels increase productivity, cut costs, keep pace with technology innovation, and become more open and transparent with their citizens.
That's why we were pleased to join other industry leaders today at NASA's Ames Research Center to hear Vivek Kundra, the CIO of the US Federal Government, announce the launch of Apps.gov. Apps.gov is an online storefront that makes it easy for federal agencies to browse and purchase cloud-based IT services from a variety of service providers, including Google. The cloud is coming of age, and we applaud the Obama Administration's efforts to ensure our government realizes its many advantages.
We also want to do our part to make it easier for government to transition to cloud computing. We recognize that government agencies have unique regulatory and compliance requirements for IT systems, and cloud computing is no exception. So we've invested a lot of time in understanding government's needs and how they relate to cloud computing. To help meet those requirements we're taking two important steps:
- FISMA certification for Google Apps. In July, we announced our intent to secure certification for Google Apps to demonstrate compliance with the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), the law defining security requirements that must be met by all US Federal government information systems. Our FISMA process is nearing completion. We will submit a Certification and Accreditation (C&A) package to the U.S. Government before the end of this year. Upon review and approval of the Google Apps C&A package, agencies will be able to deploy Google Apps knowing that it is authorized to operate under FISMA.
- Dedicated Google cloud for government customers in the US. Today, we're excited to announce our intent to create a government cloud, which we expect to become operational in 2010. Offering the same services and features as our existing commercial cloud (such as Google Apps), this dedicated environment within existing Google facilities in the US will serve the unique needs of US federal, state, and local governments. It is similar to a "Community Cloud" as defined by the National Institute for Science and Technology. The government cloud will allow Google to manage and meet additional government policy requirements beyond FISMA.