Justice offers tips for transitioning to the cloud

Sunday - 1/23/2011, 7:13pm EST

When the Recovery Act passed, the Justice Department knew it would need to upgrade its IT infrastructure to keep up with the demand that was about to be placed on its systems.

“We knew we could not support the transactions that would hit us, so we had to look at a solution,” said Angel Santa, Deputy Chief Information Officer in the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs. Santa spoke on Federal News Radio’s Federal Tech Talk show.

That’s when the agency decided to go to the cloud. Justice decided to stay in house after determining it had the resources to develop a private cloud to fit its needs.

“[It’s] very important, if you decide to do it in house, that you have the people, you have the skill sets. How do you prioritize them? How do you keep them engaged and communicate and how do you help them grow? If they don’t have the skills, how do you have the training in place? How do you communicate and have the vendors at the table with you?”

Santa tells Federal Tech Talk host John Gilroy the agency’s decision to stay in house was about security and resources.

“You always have to look at your business and the security of your business. And what makes sense for your business and what makes sense long term. We’re still wrestling with making sure we have a secure environment out in a public cloud and having access to that secure information. How do you support it? Do the vendors have the right security clearances to support that? As that continues to evolve, I’m sure there will be more offerings and systems moving out to the public.”

Santa doesn’t rule out working with a hybrid cloud in the future.

As for the benefits of the cloud, Santa sees many of them as well.

 “We have other systems in the OJP business that will capitalize on this, let alone the energy savings, let alone the ability to maintain a more stable and more homogenous environment.”

Listen to Santa’s entire interview on Federal Tech Talk.