FedRAMP gets an OnRAMP

A new tool allows users to track cloud providers in FedRAMP process.

FedRAMP logo -- GSA image

You can now track cloud services providers' progress toward complying with the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program as easily as you track your online pizza order.

On Feb. 27, MeriTalk unveiled an initial version of its FedRAMP OnRAMP portal, a collaborative effort with the General Services Administration that provides visibility into existing commercial and government secure cloud service offerings.

The portal's release comes four months ahead of the June deadline for CSPs to achieve compliance, a deadline that has many firms chasing the dozen that have already certified a total of 14 solutions.

"They're either in the pipeline or not in the pipeline, and we're working collaboratively with GSA to update this and add new vendors as they come on board," said Steve O'Keeffe, founder of MeriTalk's Cloud Computing Exchange.

O'Keeffe said the portal is akin to a user tracking a delivery order as it makes its way to your home. If the pizza isn't at your doorstep yet, at least you know how far along it is.

"There are a lot of companies saying they're in the FedRAMP process, but there weren't any ways to actually check," O'Keeffe said.

FedRAMP OnRAMP also promises to provide a unique glimpse into return-on-investment figures CSPs realize through achieving compliance. Using data from GSA and cost numbers from five FedRAMP-compliant CSPs, MeriTalk tallies the mean cost to perform a FedRAMP cloud security certificate at $250,000 – one large provider reported spending $5 million to achieve compliance. The portal uses similar data from six CSPs to calculate government-wide savings through FedRAMP of $52.5 million to date. A fully functional version is expected in mid-March.

"There has been a lot of talk about the value of cloud in the government," said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), ranking member of the Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations, which oversees federal IT and procurement policy. "FedRAMP OnRAMP provides tangible metrics and critical insight on a program that is critical to accelerating the modernization of government through the adoption of cloud computing. I commend GSA on the progress it has made so far in implementing FedRAMP and look forward to seeing the resulting savings grow over time."

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