The Federal Aviation Administration will “fly” into the cloud
Earlier this year, Amazon and Microsoft won a very large contract with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), led by IT consultant Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC). Per the deal, the FAA wants them to deliver cost-efficient cloud services, data center consolidation and cloud migration capabilities.
CSC says the contract is worth $108 million out of the gate, and because it’s a long-term contract, could be worth as much as $1 billion over the next 10 years. So the Computer Sciences team has to consolidate FAA data centers and migrate the agency’s data to Amazon’s cloud Amazon Web Services and Microsoft’s cloud, Azure.
AWS’ security and conformity standards like FedRAMP, ITAR and SRG and FedRAMP JAB-approved Microsoft Azure will enable the FAA to recognize the benefits of agility, cost savings, flexibility and intelligent cloud. Also, Microsoft’s Azure will work across applications, software, operating systems, and data to help the FAA in its mission of offering the safest and the most efficient aerospace system in the world.
The FAA is now working with CSC to determine which applications are most suitable for the cloud. Once that process is complete, the FAA hopes it will be able to more easily keep up with industry standards and innovate faster by buying IT as-a-service rather than buying expensive facilities and hardware that becomes outdated.
Another notable fact in this deal is that IBM was left out of the partnership, which is interesting in part because the company has worked with the FAA in the past. IBM was also ousted by Amazon in 2013, when the Seattle-based company won a $600 million contract with the CIA.
- Cloud computing could cut costs for the entire Federal Government
FAA’s large investment is surprising if we consider that the United States government is under a lot of pressure to cut costs. However, for the Federal Aviation Authority, cloud computing could potentially turn out to be big a money saver. As we already know, investments in cloud computing have the potential to deliver huge savings, especially in regards to hardware and data storage costs.
Actually, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see investments in cloud computing actually increase as the Federal government looks to cut costs. By consolidating data centers and working with industry leaders, like Amazon and Microsoft, the American government may actually be able to cut costs, all while increasing the quality of services provided. The Federal Aviation Authority is making some of the most aggressive moves, right now, but in the future cloud computing should be a big investment for the entire Federal government.
One thing is for sure – when it comes to air safety, speed and coordination are essential and cloud computing makes it easy for teams and people to coordinate over large distances, becoming a thriving area in the technology space.
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