recommended reading

Commerce prepares for move to cloud email


The Commerce Department is preparing to move part of its email and collaboration infrastructure to the cloud, according to solicitation documents posted Friday.

The National Institute for Standards and Technology is leading the cloud email transition for the department and will be the first division to make the move, according to the request for proposals. NIST sets governmentwide technical security policies.

The office of Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank will follow NIST to the cloud under the proposed indefinite delivery-indefinite quantity contract, according to the RFP. More divisions may come after that.

In addition to basic email, Commerce’s cloud contractor must provide instant messaging, calendar functions, desktop video conferencing, web-based collaboration tools and e-discovery tools that can dig up buried information in response to legal requests, the department said.

The department is seeking tools that are “standards-based, browser-agnostic, interoperable, and multi-platform,” according to the solicitation.

Federal agencies, including the General Services Administration and Commerce’s own National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have already moved their email and collaboration systems to the cloud as part of a governmentwide push. Other agencies have announced plans to follow suit in recent months, including the Labor Department, which solicited for cloud email services earlier this month.

The government plans to move about one-fourth of its $80 billion information technology budget to the cloud with projected savings of about $5 billion annually. Cloud storage is typically cheaper than storing computer programs in onsite data centers because clouds can pack information more tightly and customers pay for cloud storage as they would a utility, only paying for what they use.

NIST supports about 5,600 email users at its two campuses in Gaithersburg, Md., and Boulder, Colo., who will be the first to use the new cloud email system. The secretary’s office, which will transition second, has about 1,500 email inboxes, the department said.

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.