The State Department is looking to expand its cloud-based systems overseas, and is working to address some of the challenges that come with that effort, a State Department technology official explained on May 9.
Paula Wagner, director of the Cloud Program Management Office at the State Department, talked about those challenges at an event organized by Federal News Network.
“We’re really trying to expand our presence overseas, really looking at ways to support our embassies that have great connections, [as well as] our embassies that don’t have great connection and how we can better support them,” said Wagner.
At the core of the challenge, Wagner said, is upgrading and replacing older systems with cloud-based infrastructure that more agency personnel can use.
“We are really trying hard to continue to establish our multi-cloud State enterprise product portfolio that accelerates solution delivery,” she said.
Another big issue in moving the cloud expansion effort forward is dealing with the existing communications infrastructures in different countries around the world where the agency operates embassies and consulates.
“A lot of our customers live and work overseas – some of those countries have great bandwidth and some not too much,” said Wagner.
She also emphasized how vital cloud services have become during times of crisis.
“For an example from the State Department, our customers in Ukraine use Google workspace and they use that to securely and reliably collaborate with partners inside and outside of our government,” said Wagner.
Wagner also talked about the need for the department to enhance its data sharing capabilities as part of the new enterprise system.
“We really want to expand our enterprise data analytics platform, so that we’re sharing data across agencies,” Wagner said. “We’re not able to do that today. And so that’s something that we really want to work on.”