The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) in the United States has been one of the early pioneers on the federal government cloud computing front, particularly in terms of its ability to provide new platforms to increase collaboration and reduce operational expenses.
Back in 2009 the agency released its own on-demand computing facility accessible via Forge.mil that allowed contractors and government IT workers to use computing resources for collaborative projects.
The Forge.mil initiative has proven successful, especially for developers testing government applications before mass deployment. The agency is taking this effort one step further to extend collaborative access via its Forge.mil Community, which is akin to a fully functional social network with built in sharing, collaboration and content management tools.
As Jill Aitoro from Washing Business Journal reported, the agency “recognized a need to improve the communication between teams and individuals sharing a common purpose and those discussing and working together to solve similar challenges that go beyond a single project.”
With the opening of the new community comes a wave of new opportunities for contractors eager to get in on some of the U.S. government’s recent cloud-driven funding. As this and other agency-specific cloud computing efforts begin to prove themselves in practice (and with no major publicized security or other mishaps) the cash-strapped feds are looking to new solutions.
For those interested in hosting a project or spinning up their own group via the network this could be the opportunity to connect with decision-makers in a way that might otherwise have been more complicated.