Sequestration, furloughs set back Google email pilot

Workforce furloughs and budget cuts have caused a Google email pilot program at the Defense Information Systems Agency to be extended through November, Government Computer News reports.

DISA and Google signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) back in February to look for innovate ways for DoD users to securely authenticate to commercial cloud service providers.

The first phase of the pilot had 50 DISA employees testing Google Apps for Government (GAfG) by using their CACs for authentication in an unclassified environment. It was supposed to end on Sept. 30. Jack Wilmer, DISA's Deputy CTO for Enterprise Services called it the groundwork for many future cloud services.

David Mihelcic, DISA CTO, told GCN in an email, those evaluations are continuing "through the end of November with the final analysis taking place in December." Chief Information Officer Dave Bennett is the director if enterprise services at DISA. He explained the relationship with commercial vendors and what they bring to the table,

"A lot of it is focused on getting an understanding of how those commercial providers are offering those capabilities. We understand that they are very technologically advanced. They're doing things in creative ways that may not be the traditional DoD way. So one of the things we're trying to do is learn from them and gain a greater understanding of the various implementations that they provide so we can assess the risk of using them without imposing DoD specific limitations on them."