By ORock Technologies and immixGroup
If you are new to the federal government market, you are no doubt wrestling with how to ensure your products and services are compliant with the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP). This government-wide program standardizes security assessment, authorization and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services.
If you’re making a decision to move forward with FedRAMP authorization, it’s important to understand your options from the beginning. It’s tempting to try to do it all yourself, but the complexities of compliance can quickly send the cost of doing it yourself sky high, while delaying your time to market by years.
Getting to authorization requires deep expertise in compliance, IT security, engineering and more, which means a heavy investment of expensive resources extended over a long period of time.
For example, many ISVs don’t understand that hosting their software applications in a FedRAMP-compliant cloud does not make the actual applications FedRAMP authorized. To earn FedRAMP authorization for software as a service, both the environment and the application must be authorized.
Furthermore, cloud hosting is only part of the solution. In fact, most CSPs will offer to host your apps but will leave you on your own (or refer you to expensive third-party consultants) to get those applications through the entire FedRAMP process.
What’s more, FedRAMP authorization is itself not a single event. You need to constantly report plans of action and milestones (POAMs) every month to the FedRAMP PMO, maintain the application and re-authorize that application – every year. You may find that new releases may require additional assessments.
Know Your Options: Your OnRAMP to FedRAMP
A useful alternative to the labor-intensive process of attempting FedRAMP authorization on your own is to leverage a FedRAMP application authorization services program – think of it as “FedRAMP as a Service.”
One such program is known as OnRAMP, a turnkey approach that enables organizations to achieve authorization more quickly and at a lower cost. As a result, you’ll be able to more easily deliver FedRAMP-authorized SaaS offerings to government end-users.
By outsourcing the heavy and complex workload to a dedicated service provider, authorization can often be cut down from literally years to only six months or less. Employing OnRAMP also ensures ongoing compliance and reporting required to maintain authorization, which enables your business to get to the federal market more quickly. And it frees you from having to manage your SaaS and the underlying cloud infrastructure on your own.
Reduce Time to Market and Help Build Sales Capabilities
We’ve addressed this briefly earlier, but it’s useful to look more closely at how a dedicated FedRAMP authorization program like OnRAMP can benefit your business.
The easiest benefit to understand is that this approach reduces upfront investment and time required for authorization, which in turn increases your revenue and improves profitability. It also cuts down on the number of internal resources required, many of which are expensive and difficult to find.
Even more importantly, by using a dedicated FedRAMP authorization program, your sales team and channel partners can tap into the deep established connections within the public sector. There’s no interference with your existing channel strategy – which is key to avoiding unnecessary channel conflicts.
Using OnRAMP helps your business navigate the procurement landscape with flexible financial solutions. You gain access to federal contracting vehicles, along with expertise in mapping capabilities to government requirements. That in turn puts you in a better position to offer more complete solutions to your prospective customers.
As service providers, you already understand the benefit of having technology working invisibly in the background. This technological advantage is equally true for the laborious but important work of FedRAMP compliance and authorization.
With OnRAMP, industry leading compliance and assessment firms manage this complicated FedRAMP authorization process for you in U.S.-based data centers. Both you and your provider know where your critical data is at all times, while you get the peace of mind that comes with having a consistent point of contact to support your business and your cloud deployment.
As your business develops its federal market presence, it makes both financial and operational sense to put the complexities of FedRAMP compliance in the hands of a dedicated service provider like OnRAMP. The benefits will allow your business to grow more quickly – free from the headaches of coordinating compliance in an area that’s outside the capabilities of most companies – and to cut down on both CapEX and OpEx costs.
To learn more about OnRAMP for FedRAMP authorization, download the program overview.