Advancing Government: Embracing Secure Cloud Services are Essential for Government’s Sustained Digital Transformation

By John Ustica, President and CEO, Siemens Government Technologies

Embracing Secure Cloud Services

Federal agencies are at a formidable crossroads. With mandates to modernize IT for enhanced citizen services – while doing so efficiently and securely – our customers must adopt a digital first mindset. Cloud migration is a primary path for agencies to pursue wide-scale digital transformation. But the key question is how to do so safely without jeopardizing the mission or speed of delivery for vital government services.

In the first article of our “Advancing Government” series, I detailed strategies for how federal agencies can accelerate their digital transformation to innovate faster, improve readiness, and optimize operations.

In this newest article in the series, I consider how cloud-smart policies are enabling federal agencies to leverage expanded digital services at scale thanks to well-established frameworks for safe and secure adoption of cloud technologies needed for rapid transformation.

Becoming cloud-smart and cyber-secure

Becoming cloud-smart and cyber-secure

Enter FedRAMP®. The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) is a government-wide initiative that provides a standardized, risk-based approach to cybersecurity assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services. FedRAMP cloud-based services are helping agencies accelerate modernization efforts and minimize cybersecurity risks—and their adoption is growing. In the first six months of last year, the demand for cloud service products in the FedRAMP marketplace increased by 60 percent .

Five years after the White House Office of Management and Budget shifted policy gears from “Cloud First” to “Cloud Smart”, federal agencies have reached a new threshold in cloud adoption. In a new survey conducted by FedScoop, two-thirds of federal IT leaders say their agency is currently using, or starting to use, the cloud for “mission critical applications.”  

In the past two years, FedRAMP authorized 211 cloud products. This is a clear contrast from when the program first began in 2011. In its first four years, FedRAMP only authorized about 20 cloud products. The recent uptick in FedRAMP approvals signals a sector-wide transformation. Cloud is becoming increasingly critical for government, and FedRAMP-compliant applications and services enable agencies to achieve modernization and cybersecurity goals in a much more aggressive manner. 

Benefits of FedRAMP for government

FedRAMP offers a golden opportunity for federal agencies to save time and effort while securing and modernizing their network, which is crucial to an increasingly data-driven and cloud-reliant federal workforce. Cloud services that successfully go through FedRAMP’s authorization process signal to federal agencies that the technology is compliant with the most current cyber secure protocols and architectures, without the need to meet siloed requirements between different agencies.  

With FedRAMP, federal customers can save duplicate efforts of evaluating a product’s security features and reduce authorization processes using a “do once, use many” approach. Further, approved products are continuously monitored and optimized to ensure they meet and exceed evolving standards. At this timely turning point, when government is becoming more reliant on cloud services, FedRAMP puts agencies in an ideal position to capitalize on the latest cloud advancements in less time and
with fewer resources. 

Benefits of FedRAMP for government
Siemens Defense Cloud

Siemens Defense Cloud

At Siemens Government Technologies (SGT), the separate but affiliated U.S. government arm of technology powerhouse Siemens, we offer our government customers a FedRAMP Ready, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) application suite that accelerates digital transformation and cloud adoption. Known as Siemens Defense Cloud, the application provides a FedRAMP-compliant version of Siemens Teamcenter® X software, which is the most trusted product lifecycle management (PLM) software serving the Department of Defense (DoD) and the aerospace and defense industry. Evaluated for FedRAMP Ready at the FedRAMP “High Impact” level, Siemens Defense Cloud has the capability to handle the government’s most sensitive, unclassified data for cloud computing. 

Our FedRAMP Ready authorization serves as further validation of SGT’s commitment to our federal customers and our ability to power digital transformation across government. We now offer a single solution capable of solving IT security and mission challenges for agencies where confident, data-driven, decisive actions matter for the success of the mission.  

Yet, as agencies drive digital transformation and migrate more systems to the cloud, they must also invest in securing their operational technology (OT)—the hardware and software that monitors and controls industrial equipment for critical applications. Today’s security landscape requires a comprehensive IT and OT security strategy.  

SGT helps federal agencies build layered defenses to protect OT—sometimes seen in the form of Industrial Control Systems (ICS)—in an increasingly digital world. Our real-time OT cyber-protection solution, known as SIBERprotect, is available today.  By monitoring cyber threats and providing machine-speed cyber-physical response actions, SIBERprotect ensures critical assets are protected and operable at all times. 

At SGT, we are focused on helping the federal government accelerate efforts to combat a growing array of adversaries. Our end-to-end cybersecurity technologies and applications enable agencies to build the cyber resilience needed to
maintain mission assurance. 

Learn more about how Siemens Government Technologies can provide trusted, cloud-based services here and robust, cyber defense solutions here

John Ustica, President and CEO, Siemens Government Technologies (SGT) 

John Ustica is the President and CEO of Siemens Government Technologies (SGT), Inc., the separate but affiliated U.S. government arm of technology powerhouse Siemens. With project teams throughout the U.S. and overseas, SGT is a cleared provider of Siemens products, technologies, and software to solve some of the most complex government challenges in energy, automation and digitalization. 

In his role as President and CEO, Ustica leads a dynamic project-focused organization working on transformative initiatives that are unlocking new levels of energy efficiency and resiliency across military bases and depots, with over $1 billion in energy programs and services under contract today. SGT technologists are at the forefront of digital transformation in government, by helping customers deploy product lifecycle management software tools and digital twins connecting the real and virtual worlds to optimize operations, predict outcomes more accurately, and reduce overall costs. 

Ustica joined SGT in 2018 as Chief Financial Officer and has more than 20 years’ experience in effectively serving Siemens’ customers around the world.  Recognized for his contributions to local communities and industry, Ustica was named to the “Top 40 Business Leaders Under 40” by the Charlotte Business Journal in 2018, and in 2021, he received WashingtonExec’s Chief Officer Award as Public Company CFO of the Year for his innovation, expertise and thought leadership within the government contracting space.  


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