Tech consultancy CGI elevates USAID to new hybrid cloud environment

14 November 2018

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.



Deloitte to collaborate with Google Cloud on raft of new solutions

17 April 2019

Accounting and consulting firm Deloitte will work with Google Cloud to create an array of solutions for the life sciences and healthcare, financial services, and retail sectors. The announcement was made at the annual Google Cloud Next conference in San Francisco.

Deloitte has an especially strong partnership with Google Cloud, having been named its Global Services Partner of the Year for two years running. Google Cloud is among the leading enterprise cloud platforms, alongside the offerings of industry heavyweights such as Amazon, Microsoft, and IBM.

Deloitte currently provides a number of industry-specific solutions build on the Google Cloud platform, targeting areas like big data and analytics, machine learning, application services, SAP, and security. Deloitte leverages its existing technology and industry-specific expertise to build solutions on Google’s powerful open-source software. It’s a common exercise for many consulting firms – turning the raw material of a platform or ecosystem into a useful finished product for diverse clients, possibly as part of a wider overall advisory package.Deloitte to collaborate with Google Cloud on raft of new solutionsThe consulting firm will now deliver new Google Cloud solutions to clients in three pivotal sectors. In life sciences and healthcare, Deloitte will offer solutions targeting biomedical research, operations optimization, and healthcare data modernization. Within financial services, the firm will help banking, insurance, and investment management companies convert ideas into profitable strategies though Google’s high-performance computing and applied AI. Deloitte will also offer leading-edge solutions to help detect financial crimes.

The retail sector, meanwhile, will be able to benefit from advanced consumer insights and engagement, more connected supply chains, and efficient and modern commerce infrastructure.

"We are thrilled to make this commitment with Google Cloud to bring the power of its leading technologies to our enterprise clients," Janet Foutty, chair and CEO, Deloitte Consulting and chair-elect, said. "Together, we plan to transform operating models across these key sectors by harnessing the power of cloud technologies and the extensive industry-specific knowledge and experience of our practitioners."

Thomas Kurian, Google Cloud CEO, added, “Deloitte's reputation for enterprise transformation makes them an ideal teammate for us as we expand our cloud into new industries and with the world's biggest customers. Industries from health care to financial services to retail share a need to modernize – quickly. We're excited to join with Deloitte and deliver solutions and technology to help them do just that."

Related: KPMG and Google join forces to bring Industry 4.0 solutions to clients