Empowering VA’s Digital Modernization:
Cloud Operations and Migration Services (COMS)

Case Story


World war II Veterans are sharing a hug.

Modernizing with Cloud is Critical to Better Serve Veterans

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Cloud Operations and Migration Services (COMS) program enables the development and deployment of cloud applications across the agency and is a critical part of a modernization and transformation effort to better serve the Nation’s Veterans.

Since 2018, Cognosante has worked with the VA Enterprise Cloud Solutions Office (ECSO) and multiple VA and contractor teams on a cross-functional, collaborative effort to implement and maintain the multi-vendor VA Enterprise Cloud (VAEC). The Cognosante project team deploys, maintains, and manages best-in-class management tools and supports VA through the complex technical and compliance challenges involved in migrating over 350 applications to the VAEC, including instances of VHA’s electronic health record system (Veterans Health Information System and Technology Architecture, or VistA). Our project team also guides and helps VA establish development, security, and operations models to assist its organizational transformation.

The Challenge

Migrating 350 VA Legacy Systems is Required to Meet Strategic Goals

The Cognosante project team was tasked with developing and executing a strategy to move 350 VA systems to the VAEC by FY 2024 while ensuring personally identifiable information (PII) and personal health information (PHI) were protected. Technically, this migration effort required the project team to support production operations for each application – and configure and operate an array of general support services (GSS) and VAEC operational tools (VAECOT) for use by all VAEC customers.
Over 350
applications migrated to the Cloud
Optimizing with Cloud Foundations Framework
Improving services
saving costs

Our Solution

Using an Agnostic, Strategic, and Scalable Framework Focuses Efforts with Rigor

Cognosante’s cloud experts partnered with VA application teams as a trusted advisor to familiarize stakeholders with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure cloud service provider capabilities, application migration specifics, and additional capabilities provided through VAEC services. Bringing strategy and tactical execution to the effort, we organized the migrations using Agile project management tools and applied Cognosante Cloud Foundations Framework principles, a scalable, platform-agnostic framework we developed to aid agencies’ cloud transformation. The work included implementing two cloud environments in AWS and Azure, as well as unifying VA data centers and implementing other cloud projects and vendor platforms to meet enterprise requirements. We established the unified cloud solution strongly focused on governance and security to ensure compliance, deliver on service level agreement commitments, provide cost visibility and optimization, and monitor accounts with least-privileged access enforcement.

Our Tangible Results

Cost Savings, Increased Security, and Improved Services are Being Achieved

To date, we have helped migrate over 350 applications, surpassing VA’s first milestone and doing so five months ahead of schedule. These applications are now operating in the VAEC while meeting or exceeding VA’s security compliance regulations. VA’s application teams in the VAEC have seen performance gains and cost savings due to this work, ultimately resulting in improved services to Veterans.
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