Tech consultancy CGI elevates USAID to new hybrid cloud environment

14 November 2018 3 min. read

Canadian technology consulting firm CGI has successful migrated the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to a hybrid cloud environment.

Montreal-based CGI has been supporting US government agencies in their IT strategy and implementation for more than 40 years. Today, through its US-based subsidiary CGI Federal Inc., the leading IT consulting firm provides in-demand services like cloud computing, cybersecurity, and systems engineering to public sector clients in healthcare, defense, and energy, among others.

This summer, the company won a six-year $530 million contract to deliver cybersecurity services to US federal agencies participating in the Department of Homeland Security’s Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation program. CGI also won a $280 million contract to modernize and maintain California’s Case Management Information and Payrolling System (CMIPS).

CGI announced that it has now completed a hybrid cloud transformation for USAID, which annually distributes over $16 billion in foreign aid and development assistance – more than half of total US foreign assistance. Founded by President John F. Kennedy in 1961, the federal agency employs about 4,000 US staff.Tech consultancy CGI elevates USAID to new hybrid cloud environmentThe hybrid cloud environment allows USAID to realize operational efficiencies and cost optimization, with the ability to scale resources to meet demand in near real-time. The migration was built on CGI’s Unify360 IT platform, which allows clients to centrally manage hybrid cloud systems with better security, automation, and governance. The process involved the movement of over 900 virtual and physical servers.

Modernizing USAID’s global network also involved a robust multi-tiered upgrade of system security, including network edge filtering, intrusion prevention, and application firewalls. According to CGI, USAID didn’t suffer any unplanned application outages during the migration.

The hybrid cloud migration also brings USAID into line with the Federal Cloud First Policy, introduced by the White House in 2011. The policy provided a framework to agencies for moving to the cloud, while also requiring them to first consider cloud solutions for any new acquisitions. Though spending dipped in 2017, federal government cloud spending is projected to grow through to 2021. Cloud computing offers a raft of benefits, including reduced costs, greater mobility, increased ease of collaboration, and data loss prevention.

"USAID recognized the challenge and cost expenditures associated with operating and maintaining physical data centers and demonstrated leadership in Federal agency cloud adoption," said CGI Senior Vice-President Kenyon Wells.

With the migration completed, USAID has a more resilient IT infrastructure with a decreased possibility of application outages. Furthermore, cloud optimization activities, like governance-based schedule policies, allow USAID to reduce costs by standing down resources in non-work hours.