Akamai lands FedRAMP certification to ease its entry into government cloud work

Content Delivery Network kingpin Akamai now has its shiny new FedRAMP certification which means it should be easier for it to win government cloud contract work.
The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) certification will be a must-have accreditation for any vendor wanting to supply cloud services and infrastructure for federal government agencies next year and companies are clamoring to dot their Ts and dot their Is to get it done.
Cambridge, Mass.-based Akamai(s akam) claims to be the first cloud vendor to attain what is called a Provisional Authority to Operate (P-ATO) from the Joint Authorization Board of FedRamp. Basically that means it passed muster for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD, Homeland Security (DHS) and General Services Administration (GSA). That, in turn,  means that those organizations can access Akamai services directly or use them as a front end to other FedRAMP-compliant solutions.
Vendors typically work with a government agency sponsor to attain the certification. In Amazon’s case it was the Department of Health and Human Services, for example. What appears to be different here is that Akamai has the blessing of not one but three agencies.
Akamai joins Amazon Web Services (s amzn), Autonomic Resources , AT&T(s t), CGI Federal, Hewlett-Packard(s hpq), and Lockheed-Martin as FedRAMP-compliant Cloud Service Providers,
A gaggle of other companies including IBM(s ibm) and Verizon(s vz) are working to gain their FedRAMP seal of approval. Two dozen or so cloud vendors are expected to attain their FedRAMP approval by the end of this year — the certification becomes mandatory in 2014.
The stakes are big. Under the government’s Cloud-First initiative agencies are being pushed to adopt cloud technologies as a way to streamline operations and cut cost. As evidenced by the rush to claim victory in the U.S. Department of Interior’s cloud work,  allof these vendors want as big a piece of the action — and cloud credibility — that comes from government contract wins.