In September 2018, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the first cloud policy update in seven years: the Cloud Smart Strategy. Rather than emphasizing cloud adoption for its own sake, Cloud Smart focuses on how federal agencies can use cloud effectively to meet their mission-critical needs. The successful implementation of the Cloud Smart strategy requires that all stakeholders work together to access the knowledge, tools, experience and innovation happening in the federal cloud community. It’s D.C. Cloud Week and federal IT leaders across the government and the private sector are coming together to discuss the challenges, solutions and success stories happening across the cloud landscape.
The Cloud Smart strategy lays out a roadmap for agencies, and it also addresses several challenges they should expect to face along their cloud journey including security, procurement and workforce change management. To serve our federal customers and align with Cloud Smart and other federal IT initiatives, we analyzed GSA’s cloud offerings; worked across the agency to build connections between industry and government, and developed a new resource for all things cloud: the Cloud Information Center.
Cloud Information Center
The Cloud Information Center (CIC) is a central repository for all things cloud. The CIC is a collaborative community, taking the best from GSA’s experts, cloud providers, and agency champions to explain best practices and solutions around cloud issues like security, technical capabilities, and implementation. The CIC also connects federal buyers with commercial cloud providers. And, if you are new to the cloud computing space, there is a basic introduction that outlines what cloud actually is, why it’s an important tool for meeting mission-critical needs, how to deploy it, and what models are available to agencies, including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS).
The CIC has four main sections:
- Cloud Solutions: Business, technical, and contractual information on dozens of cloud solutions
- Acquisition Guidance: Best-in-class templates, examples, market research, contract vehicles, and SMEs available for support
- Policy Directives: Up-to-date repository of applicable federal IT Modernization directives and guidance
- Vendors: Product information, case studies, contracts and more for all FedRamp-certified cloud service providers
Federal government users can access GSA’s market research as a service tool, best practices, review and download acquisition guidance, download templates, and communicate/collaborate with fellow decision-makers.
Soon, industry partners will be able to share information about their cloud capabilities with federal government customers via the CIC’s communities of interest forums. As more people join us at the CIC, we’ll add more to the community as we get user feedback about customer needs.
“When engaging with client agencies, the Cloud Adoption Center of Excellence (CoE) strives to translate the value proposition of the cloud as it relates to agency operations and missions, and to that end, it becomes increasingly important to clearly define how cloud can provide a much more robust set of technical capabilities, while emphasizing that it requires a paradigm shift in how security compliance, procurement and governance are handled,” said Bob De Luca, Executive Director of CoE. “The CIC is a great resource for the federal market that addresses and helps agencies navigate through the issues we’re seeing in our day-to-day work.”
Our mission is to help agencies meet their missions. The CIC makes it easy for federal buyers to understand and investigate how cloud, done right, can help meet their critical mission needs. GSA’s boots-on-the-ground cloud adoption experts are working with client agencies to add to, actively manage and validate the content in the CIC.