At its 2017 Government Cloud Forum, Microsoft announced new advances for its Azure Government program, a U.S. government-based cloud system. These included increasing the support for highly-classified workloads to more federal agencies, increased cybersecurity capabilities and the implementation of advanced technologies such as Blockchain, High Performance Computing (HPC) and Citrix Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.
For some time the public sector has intended to run a more streamlined and efficient technology infrastructure. In 2011, the Obama administration ordered all federal agencies to focus on cloud-based solutions when upgrading their technology infrastructure ― the Cloud First policy ― a practice the Trump administration seems keen on preserving.
At 2016’s Government Cloud Forum, Azure Government became the only government-based cloud to receive Information Impact Level 5 DoD Provisional Authorization by the Defense Information Systems Agency. For 2017, Microsoft announced Azure Government Secret, which expands Azure Government’s multi-tenant cloud infrastructure and capabilities to more agencies and their partners that handle “secret” classified data. Those that receive Azure Government Secret can expect to gain increased cognitive capabilities, artificial intelligence, and predictive analytics based technologies.