US Navy: Yesterday Grog, Tomorrow Cloud

Hear ye, hear ye, the following is an important dispatch from central command.
Prepare to copy … the U.S. Navy’s new public cloud computing policy.
Details below, with emphasis in red added by Seaman Recruit Wood.
Please acknowledge. Repeat, please acknowledge. Break.

U.S. Navy Issues New Cloud Computing Policy

The Department of the Navy Chief Information Officer (DON) recently sent out the memo, “Department of the Navy Approach to Cloud Computing .”
The memo states that to increase efficiency and achieve necessary cost savings, the department is moving forward to employ capable cloud computing solutions that meet mission and security requirements and provide best value. Unless a more cost effective solution is identified, the first step will be moving DON systems that host publicly releasable information to commercial cloud service providers who meet all requirements.
According to the memo “the decision to host the data in a commercial cloud environment resulted from an analysis of several factors, the most important being the type of data stored in the portal, hosting costs and security requirements.”
At an Information Technology Conference in San Diego back in February, Terry Halvorsen, DON CIO, and Janice Haith, DON Deputy CIO Navy, discussed the enterprise initiatives being implemented to leverage and streamline DON IT capabilities to meet the $2 billion budget cut over the next five years. “The money has been removed,” Halvorsen said. “We need to specifically look at IT as an enabler and also look at the business processes that, in combination, will lead to cost savings.”
Haith also spoke about the Department’s need to be “better, efficient and more joint” through tools such as partnership between Navy and Marine Corps, process alignment, portals, budget database optimization and application rationalization. “Currently, there are 1,400 systems and 7,000 applications. This needs to be reduced by 50 percent by FY15,” she said. “We simply do not have the resources anymore.”
The latest announcement continues the Navy on a path toward greater and more efficient usage of cloud computing as a central part of its IT strategy. A major part of the proposal focuses on the concept of an “Enterprise Cloud Service Broker” which is assigned to the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). The memo does note that the broker concept is still being developed by DoD and is not fully in place and is pending further guidance from the DoD CIO.
The first step, the Navy will implement low-impact information systems as well as mission functions on commercial Cloud Service providers. This enables compliance with reference while achieving necessary cost savings. The Navy categorizes a low-impact system as an information system in which the loss of confidentiality, integrity, and availability could be expected to have limited adverse effect. Navy organizations are to categorize as low-impact those publicly accessible information systems, applications, and web sites that contain only information previously approved for public release.
The policy follows a recent pilot sponsored by the DON CIO with Amazon Web Services to move publicly accessible data to a commercial hosting environment. The Secretary of Navy’s public-facing information portal is now hosted in the Amazon Web Services cloud infrastructure as well the recent report of the CIA’s $600 million cloud contract with Amazon.