IBM opened a Federal Cloud Innovation Center in Washington, D.C.
dedicated to helping federal agencies and other public sector organizations advance the adoption of cloud computing across the government.
The new Washington D.C. facility will bring IBM's cloud computing research efforts closer to federal agencies to develop specialized technologies and methods for building mission-ready clouds, the company said.
“The IBM center will draw on the cloud computing expertise of more than 500 IBM professionals aligned to the center and IBM's global network of more than 37,000 cloud industry experts. These experts include IBM researchers, IT infrastructure architects, software developers and consultants with deep industry knowledge in managing major transformation projects across the federal government as well as implementing cloud solutions,” according to the firm.
“A central focus of the center will be to work with the government to explore further the adoption of open standards for cloud computing across the federal government. Open standards in cloud computing provide integration, break down barriers between clouds within government, and drive workload portability,” the company said.
The center's staff will also collaborate with federal agencies and other clients on new security innovations that would protect the nation's mission critical data housed in the cloud. IBM researchers continue to develop new methods for data encryption in the cloud, ensuring data always remains secure while it's being transported, searched and processed.
"IBM's research collaborations with the government have led to major advancements in networking, high-performance computing and most recently in the emerging field of cognitive systems," said Dr. John E. Kelly III, IBM Senior Vice President and Director of IBM Research. "We see a tremendous opportunity to further the development of cloud technologies with the federal government by providing access to the latest breakthroughs in security and reliability coming out of IBM's research labs."
The innovation center will pull together IBM's technical capabilities and expertise throughout the company with the ability to prototype and collaborate with federal agencies, academia and other institutions in the Washington metropolitan area and nationally on cloud computing, IBM officials said. The IBM Federal Cloud Innovation Center will provide access to skilled experts in Software as a Service, Platform as a Service, Infrastructure as a Service, and Business Process as a Service. Consultants with agency-specific expertise will also be on staff to help each federal agency quickly and effectively take advantage of the cloud.
"Our work at the center will help evolve cloud in these early days of its rollout across the federal government into a platform agencies can trust and grow off of," said Anne Altman, General Manager, IBM US Federal. "Now is not the time for government to settle for what is only available commercially. Now is the time for them to join with industry to build security, reliability and standards that will make for a trusted government cloud environment."
Among the cloud projects IBM already has underway with the government is a just announced engagement with the U.S. General Services Administration. The agency will securely manage more than five million orders a year on IBM's Smart Cloud for Government. The GSA will use cloud infrastructure, software and services to lead the agency's transformation to a faster, more efficient business model that provides cost savings for the government with next generation customer service capabilities.