A March 6 report by the federal CIO Council looks at how a government-as-a-platform IT approach leveraging cloud-based and hosted application programming interfaces can reduce duplication and help modernize services across agencies without substantial costs.

"Developer Platforms: Shared Services for Common Developer-focused APIs and Services" examines the availability and power of 25 different developer platforms and services domestically and abroad, including existing examples for application development and deployment, analytics, user authentication, payment processing, and data discovery.

The report explores potential delivery models and accelerating platform teams as mission enablers to improve efficiency and effectiveness, as well as platform and services creation, development, and adoption considerations. These factors include the Authority to Operate process, clarifying responsibilities within and outside an agency, the interaction of Trusted Internet Connections, the Privacy Act's application to digital services, streamlining data-sharing templates and agreements, plus funding mechanisms.

Stressing the importance of public-private collaboration and leveraging existing services, unification agreements and shared datasets to support an aggressive approach, the CIO Council sets forth a core strategy of using small, modular, reusable, shareable components; standard templates; and single conduits to improve the agility of federal agencies.

The complete report can be accessed on CIO.gov.