The Department of Homeland Security continues to deliver more services via cloud computing in an innovative hybrid model to leverage big data and further integrate its 22 organizations.

Greg Capella, Deputy Executive Director, Enterprise Systems Development Office in the DHS Office of the CIO, offered an update on the cloud efforts and advice for other agencies at a conference Tuesday in Washington, D.C.

“You need to go for the 80 percent solution, not the 100 percent customized approach,” he said. “Working with your customers and engaging is the hardest part. You have to get away from owning top-to-bottom customized solutions. It’s compromise. It allows us to do this … and it’s a lot cheaper to maintain.”

DHS efforts include moving to what Capella referred to as a “hybrid cloud” that integrates public and private cloud services using various sources of big data and that allow a shared services concept throughout DHS. For example, one of the public cloud services involves utilizing public credit bureau data for identity confirmation as proof of eligibility to work in the United States. The service is fully operational and available in all states and two US territories.

The status of additional DHS cloud services are as follows:

  • Enterprise Content Delivery (public) – Operational and rolling to more components; new contract awarded for service and 70% of DHS using service.
  • Web Content Management (public) – and operational; and TSA planned for FY12; six other sites committed to migrate.
  • Email (private) – More than 100,000 users in production.
  • SharePoint (private) – 33,000 users on service; HQ, USCIS, CBP completing contract.
  • Project Server (private) – HQ, USCIS, CBP are live; USCG initial effort November 2012.
  • Workplace (private) – ATO received October 2012; pilots scheduled with HQ, FLETC and USCIS.
  • CRM (private) – two customers live; three more due in three months.
  • Business Intelligence (private) – Managed Service available across CXOs; ICE, CHCO looking to leverage service; in production supporting USM, most components.
  • Production (private) – pilots in progress for HQ applications; seed money in place for most components.
  • Dev/Test (private) – HQs, TSA, USCIS in operation; rolling to more components.
  • Authentication (private) – implementing ADFS 2.0 for internal and external requirements; implementing Kerberos, a network authentication protocol designed to provide strong authentication for client/server applications by using secret-key cryptography; more than 100 applications; ISAs for HQs and ICE in coordination; ESSA in works.