Is State about to become the next big cloud service provider?

The State Department wants to invest in boosting its Foreign Affairs Network to become a cloud service provider to U.S. government customers around the globe.

It seems that the goal for some government agencies is to not only be a consumer of IT solutions but also provide those technologies to others as well. That’s certainly true of the State Department, which has made clear its objective to become a larger cloud services provider via its Foreign Affairs Network or FAN. State plans to increase its services through the FAN network by 15 percent by the end of fiscal 2018.

Developed by the department's Bureau of Information Resource Management, FAN is a portfolio of secure, cloud-based services that enable a more mobile, productive and collaborative workforce. According to State, FAN allows the foreign affairs community to have access to modern cloud services that have standardized security and management frameworks and streamlined procurement options.

But State is not the only agency with the goal of increasing its presence as a service provider. The Agriculture Department is planning to offer services across all federal agencies – whether as a platform-as-a-service provider or as a financial services and systems provider. USDA asked for $3 billion for IT in fiscal 2018, out of an overall discretionary budget of $18 billion.

Money for new State projects

By comparison to USDA, the State IT budget has remained mostly the same over the past three years, with slight reductions from year to year, generally in the neighborhood of $50 million. The fiscal 2018 request is roughly the same level as the fiscal 2017 enacted level. The development modernization and enhancement (DME) budget is actually about $13 million less than fiscal 2016.

DME is “new IT money,” or funding to be used to buy new products, develop new applications and implement new capabilities. Despite this reduction, State still requested a total of $366 million for DME funding –around 20 percent of its total IT budget, which is actually above the civilian average of 10 percent to15 percent. State designates a large 57 percent of its IT spend as infrastructure, primarily for back-end technologies needed for enterprise IT functions such as servers and network security. State needs that level of infrastructure and networking spending to support its vast IT facility holdings around the world.

That level of demand creates a constant budget pressure to reduce energy consumption – and to reduce the agency’s dependence on physical infrastructure, in favor of more cloud-based technology.

Cost savings, mobility and the FAN connection

Last June, State awarded a contract to create a platform for applications that monitor, analyze and visualize State facility sensor data, to cut down on energy use. Essentially a trial, the contract now is worth $25 million over three years, and only covers a portion of State buildings. Down the road, however, it will open up other Statae facilities to using the internet of things as a means of controlling costs.

On other cost-savings fronts, State is adhering to the government’s Data Center Optimization Initiative, with a goal to cut back on physical data centers – especially the ones in the U.S. to the main point of consolidation, the Enterprise Server Operations Center West or ESOC West data center.

The department also has the goal of increasing mobility access to its employees in two different ways.

First, it wants to increase the number of mobile devices by 30 percent so that employees can access critical apps while working in the field or at home. Second, to support this rollout, the agency will need to purchase more mobile network technologies and mobile application development tools to ensure employees have the access to the right databases and systems.

It’s through these and other efforts that State plans to use FAN to become a more prominent service provider to external customers. Ironically, FAN is already being used by organizations like the USDA (which has its own ambitions to provide more services to agencies). The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service needs global IT network connectivity and relies on FAN for that connectivity.

There’s a nice symmetry to what may be happening in IT services across the federal government. On the one hand, you have USDA building out its capabilities in analytics and financial services to meet the needs of other agencies here at home. On the other hand, you have State beefing up its networking infrastructure to improve mobility and network connectivity for agencies with needs abroad.

In each case, you have an agency playing to its strengths and betting it can turn a traditionally high-dollar part of its overall budget into services for others, rather than just an expense.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.