ATF Erases Technical Debt With Move to the Cloud
ATF Erases Technical Debt With Move to the Cloud

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is nearing the finish line of a campaign to shift away from antiquated on-premises IT systems toward a next-generation, all-cloud infrastructure. The process began six years ago when ATF and Mason McDaniel, ATF’s chief technology officer, faced a hard reality: The bureau had been underinvesting in technology for years and was experiencing significant technological debt.

ATF chose Amazon Web Services (AWS) GovCloud (US) for its cloud migration in part because the company met its requirements for security and compliance with FedRAMP High authorization, and AWS was able to provide support with U.S. citizen staff. ATF was also confident that AWS would provide resilient, stable architecture with high availability to support the move of mission-critical applications to the cloud.

ATF leaders consider the agency’s six-year cloud odyssey a major success because it enabled IT and business units to work together on technical challenges that had been neglected. It also transformed ATF’s IT governance and compliance framework for the cloud and shifted the IT mindset from “keeping the lights on” to continuous improvement.

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