With Figma’s Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) status now "in process," we’re excited to take the next step in improving user experience across the public sector.
The pandemic has led to a dramatic and foundational shift in the way that the public sector works. Many US government agencies are moving to a hybrid or fully remote model, and in 2021, President Biden passed an executive order on transforming customer experience, noting that more approachable and inclusive designs are core to rebuilding trust in government services. At Figma, we’re excited to help accelerate that work. We sat down with Figma’s Vice President of Sales Kyle Parrish, Director of Security Dev Akhawe, and Director of Federal Sales James Kohler, to share a look at our ongoing commitment and what you can expect next.
An application like Figma can only house government data if it has FedRAMP certification, which can take years to secure. FedRAMP evaluates the security of these apps, categorizing them as low, moderate, or high, based on the number of controls they deem an app to have.
Figma’s FedRAMP Moderate status is now "in process." What does this mean?
We recently got listed on the FedRAMP marketplace, which signifies a clear commitment to the public sector and providing software to the government. It shows that we have gone through an audit and are ready for the final steps of the certification.
What will securing FedRAMP certification enable?
There has been this massive groundswell of interest in Figma, but the reality is that until we get certification for FedRAMP, we’re not able to fully serve these organizations and unlock the maximum value for them.
It will assure customers that their important data and content is safe, because the FedRAMP certification demonstrates our commitment to meeting the highest standards of security and privacy. It’s a very rigorous standard defined by the government.
Why is this important for users?
FedRAMP certification will enable government agencies, public sector employees, people working with the government, and anyone building software for a civic purpose to create their software designs in Figma. They can test their prototypes in Figma. They can make sure that the thing they intend to build will be able to solve the problems that they want via quick, rapid prototyping, and hopefully that allows for faster iteration on their designs. In turn, this will lead to much better software and user interfaces for people using government applications.
As the first sales hire at Figma, I’ve seen that some of the value props that are core to Figma and core to collaboration—being platform agnostic and browser-based—really speaks to those who work at government agencies. Companies that were traditionally known for being the last to adopt new technologies are now on a transformational journey. I’ve had a lot of opportunities to meet CIOs and other leaders who work in the public sector, and I’ve realized that even though their business models are quite different from those in the private sector, the way they work is actually very similar. We know there’s a big market there and what Figma can offer by bringing collaboration to the forefront is huge. We can make these CIOs heroes and drive towards the future.
The federal government has tons of agencies, contractors, and many other contingent workers who are involved in delivering services. Figma enables collaboration, allowing them to ship quickly and drive faster outcomes.
At Figma, we’re building out the team working on efforts with the US federal government, starting with bringing James on board. What’s the vision for that role and the team more broadly?
The challenge is that working at an organization like Figma—which is fast-moving, dynamic, very focused on the customer, and has a technical product and audience—requires someone who has worked well in that environment. We wanted someone who focused on government, but also someone who could be a builder and go from 0 to 1. James has done this at companies like Zscaler and Datadog, and he’s already been able to articulate what to do and what not to do—and to share the losses and frustrations in an authentic way.
I joined Figma because I enjoy bringing transformative technologies to the federal space, and it was immediately clear to me how important obtaining FedRAMP certification is to Figma. I’m here to take what we’ve applied in the private sector and make sure it’s meeting the needs of the public sector. It’s not just about users—it’s about serving citizens by improving the services they rely on.
We’re excited to complete the process so that Figma is certified for federal use.
Once we have FedRAMP certification, we’ll be ready to work with the public sector. Internally at Figma, the goal is to have bidirectional knowledge sharing between the commercial and government teams. Even though they have different mandates, they can learn from each other to better serve their respective users.