State Department increases cloud computing initiatives

    The State Department has announced plans to invest an additional $22 million into IT operations this year, including building private and community clouds for internal use and external collaboration.

    According to NextGov, the new plan was included in the justification documents attached to the President's fiscal year 2013 budget proposal. The total cloud funding will increase by $26 million, offsetting the overall reduction in federal IT spending. The projected cuts are expected to be in digital diplomacy initiatives, such as social media outreach programs and similar technologies.

    Currently, the 2013 plan marks a $21 million increase from the 2012 budget, with $140 million allocated to cloud computing alone. The report states that about $9 million will go into initializing a cloud-version of the Foreign Affairs Network for supporting other federal agencies overseas trade and operations.

    Included in these initiatives are plans for a number of cloud-based IT solutions such as hosted VoIP or business phone systems. These advancements can help organizations in all sectors develop a more centralized communication system and improve information sharing and collaboration.

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