Cloud-computing adoption by federal agencies may be poised to accelerate amid renewed interest among Washington lawmakers to modernize the government IT with a new bill introduced in the House of Representatives.

The bill, known as the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act, will give agency CIOs access to funds to move legacy IT operations to managed, cloud-based services such as Salesforce, Amazon Web Services, and others. The MGT Act provides two funding channels for the purchase of modern IT equipment. The legislation allows for agencies to borrow from a general working capital fund that is repaid with savings from making the switch to less costly cloud-based solutions. Additionally, it allows for agencies to keep any money saved by funding new technology within their current budgets.

The bipartisan legislation, introduced by Reps. Will Hurd (R-Texas) and Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), alongside others, aims to spur immediate and ongoing cloud adoption at an agency level. Cloud adoption will work to modernize the federal IT system with a less costly and more efficient alternative to the current on-premises model.

A previous version of the MGT Act passed in 2016, but stalled in the Senate because of a $9 billion Congressional Budget Office Score. However, the revised version of the bill addresses previous concerns associated with implementation costs. Having received widespread support on both sides of the aisle, this version easily passed through committee and will soon get a vote on the House floor.

The MGT Act is a renewed approach to what has been slow cloud adoption among federal agencies. Most agencies have migrated some light operations to cloud-based solutions, but there is still plenty of work to be done. This will most likely fall on the CIOs. Agencies will need to take a more calculated approach identifying how their individual portfolio of services can fully maximize the benefits of the cloud.

Despite potential challenges ahead, accelerating cloud-based solutions promises to be a game changer for federal agencies by not only cutting costs and increasing efficiency, but by spurring greater innovation to better serve the American public.

About the Author

Alex Tzavellas serves as Practice Marketing Manager where he supports MIL’s cloud solutions marketing and sales efforts. He specializes in developing and executing strategies for federal and non-profit clients.