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CASE STUDY:

Federal IT Modernization: Veterans Affairs' complex IAM System Undergoes Seamless Transition to Cloud

Client

Department of Veterans Affairs

Services

IT Operations

The Challenge

Veterans Affairs’ IAM provides automated, credential-based access control governing over 220 internal and external applications that assist the country’s 24 million veterans and 400,000 department employees and support contractors. IAM authorizes single-sign-on (SSO) across VA’s internal and external facing systems through sophisticated end user authentication. The Department has embraced the government’s cloud strategy that is designed to improve system performance, realize cost savings through managed services approaches and enhanced information security. However, because of the intricate complexity, colossal size, and manifold application dependencies associated with IAM, no similar system had previously been targeted for migration to the VA’s enterprise cloud.

The Approach

This collaborative effort with Microsoft Azure and eight contractor teams established a new service excellence benchmark for federal agency cloud migrations. While Technatomy and its technology development partners have supported the VA IAM development program since 2014, modernization work has only recently begun; however, the efficacy and jaw-dropping efficiency of the IAM cloud migration establishes the performance benchmark and blueprint for the efforts ahead.

David Papp, Technatomy’s Program Manager for IAM, shared the magnitude, impact and customer impressions of the work involved:

“The cloud migration of VA IAM is one of the very first to be migrated to the new VA Enterprise Cloud environment. While the IBM Tivoli Identity Manager and CA Siteminder-based system is complex, we’ve helped the VA create a more adaptable, secure, and available identity access management capability for the 630,000 users accessing the Department’s systems each day. The customer has expressed to us the surprising smoothness with which our team accomplished in less than 24 hours this seamless transition.”

The Results

This migration of IAM to VA Enterprise Cloud (VAEC), the largest of the Department’s cloud modernization efforts to date and the first non-native Microsoft application moved successfully to VAEC-Azure, assures the government of reduced system latency, substantial cost savings, robust security and enhanced system availability. Next, the team is currently preparing for the upcoming migration of the Master Veteran Index system, a related repository of referential data used to facilitate user authentication by VA IAM.