Cloud Smarter


A deep dive into the White House’s finalized cloud computing guidance for federal agencies. 

The White House released in June the finalized version of the administration’s cloud policy, Cloud Smart, 10 months to the day after the Office of Management and Budget released its first draft.

The Cloud Smart policy updates the Obama administration’s Cloud First, established in 2010, and puts this administration’s spin on the effort to increase cloud adoption. Cloud Smart focuses on three pillars: security, procurement and workforce.

“The federal government has a commitment to providing high-quality services to the American people, but that delivery has been limited when there were barriers to adoption of new technologies,” Federal Chief Information Officer Suzette Kent told Nextgov in a statement when the final version was released. “With today’s updated Cloud Smart Strategy, we are providing supporting guidance that addressed historical barriers and embodies an interdisciplinary approach to use of cloud capabilities in the IT modernization journey.”

The final policy adds a push for agencies to “rationalize their application portfolios” by taking a hard look at which apps are truly needed. The “key actions” section in the final version now includes a generalized two-step process and adds a call-out to the CIO Council’s new Application Rationalization Playbook.

Besides that addition, the final version of Cloud Smart includes a few subtle but significant changes from the draft.

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