It’s official! The U.S. General Services Administration is the first federal agency to successfully migrate its employees to a cloud-based email service using Google Apps for Government. GSA’s successful transition is the first step in our effort to provide cloud email as a service option to other federal agencies.
Our own transition to the cloud will save millions in taxpayer dollars annually. We expect that using a cloud-based system will reduce email operation costs by 50 percent over the next five years and save more than $15.2 million for the agency in that time. A large part of these savings will come from a decrease in the number of costly data centers requiring hardware, software licenses, maintenance, and contractor support. In addition to the cost saving benefits, the new email environment provides our agency with an easily accessible suite of services including email and collaboration tools that help GSA employees become a more mobile and more efficient workforce.
As the federal government’s workplace solutions expert, GSA helps agencies save money and concentrate on fulfilling their core missions by providing innovative workspace and acquisition tools. In May of this year, the U.S. General Services Administration requested bids from industry that will give government agencies options for secure, cost-efficient cloud-based email solutions. The successes and challenges faced by GSA in implementing our new cloud email system will help inform our decision making and allow us to better serve our customer agencies as they begin moving to the cloud.
Moving government agencies to the cloud is part of the Obama Administration’s ‘cloud first’ strategy and GSA’s success broadly demonstrates that agile, secure, reliable, and cost effective cloud options exist. President Obama has challenged federal agencies across government to close the information technology gap with the private sector by identifying and migrating three IT capabilities to the cloud within 18 months. Already, 15 agencies have identified 950,000 e-mail boxes across 100 email systems that are going to move to the cloud.
Cloud IT systems help streamline agency operations, reduces inefficiencies, and free resources for other essential programs. With GSA’s contracting knowledge, cloud email experience and customer-focused expertise, we will help other agencies transition to the cloud — moving our government forward and saving taxpayer dollars.