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Scaling the FedRAMP Marketplace - A Deep Dive Into the FedRAMP Roadmap Episode 4

Note: This is episode 4 of a five-part series on the Future of FedRAMP. See the links below for other episodes.

Welcome back, as we continue our series delving into the strategic goals of the recently released FedRAMP (Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program) roadmap, today we’re focusing on the third goal: significantly scaling the size and scope of a trusted FedRAMP marketplace.

FedRAMP has come a long way since its inception 12 years ago. We’ve watched the marketplace grow to over 300 authorized cloud services. However, this progress hasn’t come without its challenges. Here, we’ll dissect the hurdles the program faces and the potential solutions laid out in the roadmap.

Struggling to Keep Up with Demand

The FedRAMP marketplace is undoubtedly robust, but it’s been challenging to meet the escalating demand from federal agencies for new and innovative services. Despite these services' burgeoning presence, the onerous, time-consuming, and costly authorization process can deter small businesses and startups. These innovative entities, eager to contribute valuable solutions, often find themselves sidelined.

The Sponsorship Hurdle

A significant bottleneck in the FedRAMP process is the need for sponsorship from a government agency. Small to mid-sized businesses face considerable challenges in securing this sponsorship, which is crucial for progressing through the FedRAMP authorization. As the roadmap indicates, identifying and establishing a smoother path to sponsorship can alleviate some of these barriers.

Pathways for reciprocity

The roadmap references a pilot program with the DOD, an area with substantial federal expenditure and its own advanced cloud authorization processes leveraging the same fundamental NIST frameworks. Utilizing the DOD’s existing authorization capabilities and fostering reciprocity can help to scale the authorization process.

Lowering the Burden with Joint Authorization Groups

Forming joint authorization groups could also be a game-changer. These cohorts of like-minded agencies, with similar requirements, can collectively share the load of being an authorizing official. This not only reduces the burden on individual agencies but also streamlines the authorization process, making it more efficient and less time-consuming.

Automation and Continuous Monitoring

The roadmap suggests leveraging automation and continuous monitoring to transform what has traditionally been a paper-pushing exercise into a more dynamic, efficient process. By modernizing the continuous monitoring phase and possibly integrating continuous authorization, the burden of audits can decrease significantly. This continuous approach ensures that innovative features and significant changes can be implemented sooner, ultimately benefiting government agencies.

Removing Human Errors

Automating various aspects of the process helps mitigate errors typically introduced by manual handling. Machines, when correctly programmed, ensure consistency and accuracy, leading to more secure systems. This shift towards automation is not just a forward-looking ambition but a necessary evolution to keep pace with rapid technological advancements and growing cybersecurity threats.

Fit for Purpose Tools

Lastly, the use of commercial governance, risk, and compliance tools must adapt to fit FedRAMP’s specific requirements. The introduction of purpose-fit tools tailored for FedRAMP compliance can immensely ease the authorization process. Such tools make the compliance process more straightforward and less burdensome, which is particularly beneficial for smaller and innovative companies trying to break into the government contracting sphere.

Looking Ahead

Here at InfusionPoints, we are committed to examining the FedRAMP process from every angle, be it from the agency perspective or the cloud service provider's lens. We’re excited about the opportunities that 2024 holds and are eager to share upcoming announcements that will further enhance the FedRAMP journey.

Thank you for tuning in to this episode, where we navigate the complexities of scaling the trusted FedRAMP marketplace. Stay tuned for the final installment in our series, where we’ll continue to explore these pivotal strategic goals. Until next time!