Checking out the cloud at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid is being required to modernize its technology infrastructure.

Julie Boughn is chief information officer at CMS and tells Fed Cloud Blog about how her office is using some cutting edge technologies, including cloud computing.

“I love cloud. When you talk about software-as-a-service or even platform-as-a-service, the potential is actually astronomical, especially around things that maybe are lower risk and aren’t our core business, but have never been able to get funded. To be able to do projects like those. . . . We don’t have to develop a whole system, or host [some programs] in one of our data centers because we can get the whole service that we need, build a business process around it, and it can be up in a week, as opposed to what typically would take months to get through a regular IT investment life cycle.

What remains to be seen for me is where . . . We start to draw the line. [For example] Medicare fee-for-service claims processing. It’s hard for me to imagine that happening in the cloud, but that could be just because I’m being old and stogy. I hope that’s not the only reason, but it’s just hard for me to imagine that being there. Our backup — backup is the thing that happens in the cloud for a lot of . . . personal users. I’ve heard of some big companies that use cloud for backup and recovery. That one is even hard for me, too, and that’s mostly because of our scale and size. But, I’m very open minded . . . and where it makes sense I’m going to be gung-ho supportive of it.”

Hear Boughn talk more about modernization and virtualization at CMS on Ask the CIO.


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