Case Study

Federal Agency Ensures Compliance with AWS Cloud Solution

Guidehouse helps improve security and service while reducing IT costs.


A large federal agency with thousands of users and large, complex databases strives to consistently improve its security posture. Compliance management and implementation is the foundation of the agency’s security approach and must be in place for every initiative. The agency adheres to numerous regulations, including the following: 

  • IRS Publication 1075: Tax Information Security Guidelines
  • Federal Information Security Modernization Act (FISMA) standards, including Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) encryption processing requirements 
  • Various National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) requirements 

To move forward with any initiative, the agency must gain an Authority-To-Operate (ATO) accreditation, which validates that essential requirements are met. The ATO designation applies to all components of each solution and to custom software. The ability to interoperate with other agencies must also be prioritized.  

To comply with these requirements, the agency sought multi-tenant, multi-account governance across disparate cloud environments, with guardrails to ensure safety and secure access within operations.  



Guidehouse collaborated with the agency to meet its goals by updating infrastructure and implementing processes to improve the security posture.  

To achieve these outcomes, Guidehouse partnered with AWS ProServe, Amazon’s professional services arm, to ensure positive outcomes in using AWS Landing Zone Accelerator (LZA) to deploy a secure, scalable cloud environment that meets all federal requirements. 

The Guidehouse team delivered repeatable and sustainable service management by defining specific governance, processes, training, best practices, guidelines, templates, and operations tools for core infrastructure, storage, software, and enterprise information technology (IT) operations. Guidehouse helped the agency reduce their computing footprint through architecture improvements, automation, and simplified IT processes.

Guidehouse utilized infrastructure topologies, landing zones, a data lake, and automated deployments across the cloud through open-source tools, and supported continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipelines. The team implemented FinOps tools to optimize cloud spending and improve operations.  

Further, the team supported IT audit services through enhanced observability and security event and incident management (SEIM) solutions, for improving the on-prem and cloud security posture using a total risk management framework. Guidehouse enhanced security operations by developing automated data collection and analysis to build IT service intelligence using various performance monitoring and assessment tools.

Guidehouse continues to provision services as they are integrated into the agency’s system and migrate them to the AWS cloud environment; all services are Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) authorized.  



This project delivered system availability of ~99.99% and improved the reliability of the IT posture both on-premises and in the cloud. The implemented solutions reduced IT operations costs and enhanced the overall service quality of infrastructure operations.  

The Guidehouse team consolidated multiple AWS accounts, while reducing the on-prem footprint and further reducing infrastructure costs. Additionally, the team improved show-back cost allocations for workloads and implemented a multi-cloud FinOps solution supporting cloud governance. Using pre-approved and FedRAMP authorized cloud technologies from the service catalog reduced the overall mean time to ATO, while also minimizing the number of plan of action and milestones (POA&M) items. 

Through security and compliance reporting for the hybrid cloud architecture, the agency is delivering real-time authentication, verification, validation, and protection of data for information systems and resources, meeting agency security baseline controls.  

The cloud-based processes, standards, and solutions have greatly improved the agency’s security posture, while enabling cost reduction, improved service quality, enhanced brand credibility, and the ability to deliver on goals.  

Let Us Help Guide You

Complexity demands a trusted guide with the unique expertise and cross-sector versatility to deliver unwavering success. We work with organizations across regulated commercial and public sectors to catalyze transformation and pioneer new directions for the future.

Stay ahead of the curve with news, insights and updates from Guidehouse about issues relevant to your organization and its work.