The Government Printing Office aims to complete a migration to Microsoft cloud email services by the yearend, the agency’s chief information officer said Tuesday.
GPO is the first legislative branch agency to make the move to the cloud. The printing office will use Microsoft 365, which is already in place at numerous executive branch agencies.
Legislative branch agencies -- which include GPO, the Government Accountability Office and the Library of Congress, among others -- are not required to comply with executive branch directives, such as the cloud-first policy.
This could be a reason these agencies have been slower to adopt cloud email.
“I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before other agencies in the legislative branch also move to cloud email,” the printing office’s CIO Chuck Riddle told Nextgov. “Obviously, the legislative branch is quite a bit smaller, but we talk about trying to incorporate best practices like this.”
The printing office has said its purpose is to “create the information products and services required by Congress and federal agencies and distribute them to the public” -- including bills, budgets and notices.
Officials have pushed for a name change, arguing GPO should stand for Government Publishing Office because the agency has aggressively focused both on digital and nonprinted methods of disseminating information.
GPO's current email system is Microsoft Outlook hosted on the agency premises.
The move to the cloud will raise account size limits from about 50 megabytes to somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 gigabytes, according to Riddle.
“We’re constantly having to work with users to delete unnecessary mail in the current system,” Riddle said. “You know, they run out of space and they can’t send mail. Obviously, moving to something with that much more space frees them up tremendously to not worry about that.”
Riddle said he hoped the move will be a gateway to greater cloud adoption at GPO, which currently hosts its financial system in a private cloud but so far has no other cloud-based office productivity tools.