While it is common knowledge that the cloud can help drive down IT costs, enhance efficiencies and drive mission effectiveness, there are very few agencies fully embracing this new shift.

However, there is one agency that is going “all in” when it comes to the cloud – the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

According to this recent NextGov story, the agency will operate 100 percent in the cloud by 2017.  This includes a dual-pronged effort to physically move servers out of FCC’s current headquarters while modernizing current and future applications for cloud use.

As highlighted by FCC Chief Information Officer David Bray at a recent NextGov event, it took a significant effort to get the agency poised for this significant transition. Bray discussed how the agency had 207 IT different systems with more than half of those systems over 10 years old when he took over his position two years ago.

This new approach will certainly streamline the management of IT for the agency. The FCC will be on a modular, data-centric approach “that remixes existing [software-as-a-service] and [platform-as-a-service platforms] that’s much faster, more resilient and easier to maintain than anything they could do on-premise themselves,” Bray said.

In addition to dealing with the IT migration challenges, Bray and his team had to overcome many personnel and political issues – but the pay-off is there.

“Other organizations can do this, too,” said John P. Skudlarek is the Deputy Chief Information Officer at the Federal Communications Commission. “It is translatable. But other organizations are going to have to do the hard work. It’s not easy, but it’s been worth it.”

For paving the way for other agencies to transition fully to the cloud, we are naming Bray and the FCC this week’s “GovTransformer.” Stay tuned for our ongoing coverage of other federal executives and their agencies that are truly transforming how they support mission goals through the most effective use of IT.