US Government Grants ServiceNow FedRAMP Certification

March 02, 2016

By Michael Guta - Contributing Writer

When the U.S. federal government decides to implement a new technology system wide, the process is both expensive and protracted. With so many agencies, employees, locations and security requirements, that is to be expected. As the government continues its slow but measured migration to the cloud, it is doing so with the procedures put in place by the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, or FedRAMP. For companies that want to provide cloud services to the federal government, FedRAMP certification is required, which is what ServiceNow (News - Alert) received for its government community cloud.

The FedRAMP initiative is a government-wide program for establishing standards to security assessment, authorization and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services. One of its primary goals is to have a system in place where, they "do once, use many times," which saves around 30-40 percent of government costs as well as the resources it takes to carry out redundant agency security assessments.

The program was established with cybersecurity and cloud experts from public and private organizations, such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Defense (DOD), National Security Agency (News - Alert) (NSA) and others.

The certification of ServiceNow's government community cloud designates it has passed the federal risk management process defining standard security requirements for all cloud providers. For many of the agencies within the federal government, it means if they want to deploy the enterprise grade cloud solutions ServiceNow offers, they will not have to do their own assurance assessment.

The company received a FedRAMP Provisional Authorization to Operate (P-ATO) from the Joint Authorization Board (JAB). And according to ServiceNow, currently it operates the only enterprise service management cloud platform granted JAB P-ATO status.

"Given the rigorous requirements to achieve this level of compliance, which includes a greater depth of review than that of an agency-level authorization, federal agencies can confidently choose the ServiceNow cloud to streamline their enterprise services,” said Steve Alfieris, vice president of Federal, ServiceNow.

The inefficiencies government agencies experience are based on layer upon layer of bureaucracy that slows down how they do virtually everything. While cloud technology will do little to get rid of this inefficiency, it will modernize the on-premises IT infrastructures they have in place, which according to Alfieris, is where the federal government spends 75 percent of its IT budget.

ServiceNow will give NASA, the Department of Energy, the DOD and more than a hundred additional agencies a platform to modernize, transform and innovate enterprise-wide service delivery.

Edited by Maurice Nagle