Mason McDaniel on ATF’s Cloud Migration Effort; AWS’ Dave Levy Quoted

Mason McDaniel
Mason McDaniel

Mason McDaniel, chief technology officer at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said ATF plans to shut down its remaining data center and transition all applications and data to the cloud by the end of fiscal year 2020, FedScoop reported Monday.

He discussed how a snowfall in 2016 served as a wake-up call for ATF to introduce changes to the bureau’s IT environment as well as the efforts of IT officials to communicate to the bureau’s executives the need to advance the move to the cloud.

“The way you have to communicate to the executives who are largely not technical is trying to take whatever the technical debt is you’ve accumulated through not doing stuff in the past and communicate it in business terms,” McDaniel said. “Again if that data center goes away, then all ATF systems drop offline with no primary and failover and no estimate for times to restore.”

McDaniel cited the need to agencies to invest in invisible IT, his team’s efforts to come up with a governance framework to facilitate the cloud adoption and the start of the transition of data and apps to the Amazon Web Services’ cloud platform.

ATF “is a great example of how thinking big can allow government agencies successfully manage the move to cloud, and retire decades of technical debt,” said Dave Levy, vice president of U.S. government at AWS and a 2020 Wash100 Award winner. “We remain committed to supporting the ATF’s critical mission and for technology to continue driving positive mission outcomes.”

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