Every year the respected magazine Government Computer News (GCN) recognizes the top government IT projects of the year. This year’s top 10 winners will be honored at GCN’s annual awards gala dinner and reception, on October 14th at the Ritz Carlton, Tyson’s Corner.

One of the top 10 government IT projects being honored this year was implemented by the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), which successfully moved Navy applications and systems to a secure commercial cloud.

In 2011, the Under Secretary of the Navy directed the department to cut its IT budget by 25 percent over the next five years. SPAWAR’ commercial integration team (CSI) addressed the mandate by exploring the Navy moving information systems and functions to commercial cloud service providers.

The effort was an essential part of the Navy’s cost-cutting drive and its ambitious plan to cut maintenance costs by closing 150 data centers. To make all this happen SPAWAR needed to address challenges of dependability and security head on. The Navy has hundreds of thousands of personnel depending on the security and reliability of its IT systems, and failure could easily develop into life and death situations.

In implementing their cloud initiative, the SPAWAR CSI team created security protocols, deployed a secure enterprise environment and determined the most effective paths for acquisition. Commercial cloud service providers (CSPs) provided the building blocks of a solution, but risks had to be mitigated through engineering and by DoD personnel in order to comply with accreditation protocols.

To do this the CSI team coordinated closely with Amazon Web Services, creating a cloud environment that set up a secure roadmap for hosting DoD information in a commercial cloud environment. GCN has recognized the SPAWAR CSI team as among the trailblazers in IT transformation, and for strongly supporting the DoD’s transition to secure cloud computing.