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Salesforce Government Cloud is a dedicated, multi-tenant instance of the Salesforce Cloud, built to allow U.S federal, state, and local agencies to deploy social and mobile technologies for use within their departments and by the general public. The technology launched in 2012 came as a much-needed breakthrough to the government struggling to take advantage of social media to engage with its citizens while staying in compliance with the guidelines of the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA). It helped the government to rapidly develop and execute projects, and also deploy governance apps that could be downloaded by the general public via the AppExchange.
This year, Salesforce has reinforced its Government Cloud with the power of Salesforce Lightning. The Government Cloud Lightning is much more user-friendly and comes with a vibrant ecosystem of tools and apps. Now, it is easier than ever before to build various apps for government employees, partners, suppliers, as well as apps for the general public that make it easy for them to seek information and services. This latest version guarantees more security by complying with National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) SP 800-171 and the Department of Defense Impact Level 2 (DoD IL2), apart from complying with the FISMA guidelines.
The Lightning Cloud has 3 main features:
The Government Cloud Lightning platform has a very user-friendly interface. It removes device dependency by delivering a uniform user experience across mobile devices and desktops. Government employees can now access information and perform their work remotely, bringing in high efficiency in their departments. The Lightning version offers enhanced communication and collaboration between employees and with strategic partners, making it easy to perform routine activities as well as implement decisions across the board. Decision making has also become simpler because the Government Cloud is now equipped to offer improved data analytics so that government employees can derive valuable insights and take meaningful decisions based on them.
The Government Cloud Lightning platform has a versatile ecosystem of secure tools and reusable components that aid app development. Many development tools commonly used in the private sector have been included here after modifying them for the public sector. The platform offers a drag and drop visual interface making it easy for federal and state government agencies and their technology partners to make use of desired tools and build apps quickly. The responsive nature of the Lightning platform makes it sufficient to create only one version of an app and, thereafter, deploy it successfully across devices. Creating separate mobile and desktop versions is no longer a necessity, thus shrinking production timeline and cost.
The Lightning platform adheres to multiple security guidelines, which makes it possible, even for sensitive departments like defense, homeland security, and aerospace, to make use of it. The DoD IL2 compliance makes the Lightning platform eligible for use in defense projects, whereas, the NIST compliance guarantees adherence to standards for protecting sensitive data. This extended compliance allows the Lightning Cloud to be used by many federal and state departments. Salesforce has also recently fortified its Government Cloud with platform encryption that offers an additional layer of security, making it suitable for sensitive projects.
The Government Cloud Lightning is available through a blanket purchase agreement that allows the government agencies to procure Salesforce services through trusted Salesforce partners by means of a single purchase agreement. It is a single procurement vehicle which replaces the need to have separate agency-specific contracts for individual Salesforce development projects. The aim is to reduce administration and contract duplication costs by streamlining the process of sourcing Salesforce development and implementation services. It also ensures consistency in development standards across various Salesforce Government Cloud projects. BPAs worth more than $700 million have been awarded to Salesforce re-sellers and partners for implementation and integration services.
“Private sector innovation has changed the way citizens expect to interact with their governments, so providing our customers with modern and secure tools is paramount to increasing citizen satisfaction and engagement,” Vivek Kundra, EVP at Salesforce
As intended, the Salesforce Government Cloud Lightning platform has enhanced citizen engagement. A notable success story has been that of the Department of Agriculture which has been using the Government Cloud to work with farmers for providing timely funding. It has also found great use in contact center management, case management, correspondence management, and many other government functions.
By aiding rapid and cost-effective development, the Government Cloud Lightning platform aims to rid the government of its dependence on legacy systems and save millions of dollars that are reportedly spent on maintaining such outdated systems. It cuts red tape and makes it easy for ordinary citizens to acquire information on government processes and interact with the government much faster than it was possible earlier through phones and paper.
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