NASA recently began a pilot using Google Apps, a suite of applications that brings services such as Gmail, Google Docs and other products together to help workers in today's business environment. NASA IT Labs, a part of the Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO), sponsored the pilot to meet the growing demand from workers to access resources on any device.
About 600 IT staff from 11 NASA centers and facilities are participating in the pilot, which offers cost savings by managing user's identities, credentials and access via cloud computing using on-demand software. Cloud computing refers to resources and applications that are available on the Internet from nearly any Internet-connected device. No sensitive NASA data is being placed in the cloud.
Under the pilot, NASA users can connect to Google Apps for Government using an existing NASA work ID, which also functions as a smart card in the card reader of compatible computers. The card was created as a common identification standard for federal employees and contractors to increase security and reduce opportunities for identify fraud.