Bill Hunt, Chief Enterprise Architect at the Small Business Administration (SBA), detailed today some of the steps that SBA took to use the cloud for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) established under the CARES Act in March to help fund payroll costs for small businesses hurt by the coronavirus pandemic.

SBA Deputy CIO Guy Cavallo discussed the agency’s efforts to quickly build a new cloud-based application for PPP in a CIO Crossroads interview with MeriTalk in April.

Speaking at an online event today organized by ATARC, Hunt further detailed some of the work that went into the PPP effort. He said the team at SBA added an extra layer of caching and cloud security upfront, used commercial off-the-shelf software for inputting loan details, and put those details into an automated system – a low-code/no-code source solution – for processing by SBA agents.

“For PPP, there was a lot of new processes that we tried to put in place so that people were able to get their loans quickly and effectively,” Hunt said. “We used pretty much all the different layers, between platform-as-a-service, software-as-a-service, infrastructure-as-a-service, to unlock the capabilities through cloud to enable us to do those PPP loans at an unprecedented volume,” he said.

“Cloud is not there to save you money,” said Hunt, who previously served as the Cloud Policy Lead at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). “The investments we make in cloud are to enable new capabilities.”

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Dwight Weingarten
Dwight Weingarten
Dwight Weingarten is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.