The New Cloud Information Center Is About More Than Just Looks

Posted by Laura Stanton
on August 26, 2020
Cloud Information Center

The enhanced Cloud Information Center is designed to help users intuitively navigate the cloud adoption process, leverage best practices, and find training opportunities.

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.” The ancient philosopher Plutarch first proposed this analogy nearly 2,000 years ago in his essay On Listening to Lectures to help his students learn. Though the means by which we convey knowledge have expanded, the same didactic concept can be applied to educating the Federal IT workforce about cloud computing.

Last year, the government updated its Federal Cloud Computing Strategy. Known as Cloud Smart, the strategy identified three key pillars of successful cloud adoption—security, procurement, and workforce—and directed actions be taken to strengthen them. Number one on the list was the creation of “a central location to share guidance and best practices on cloud-related topics with [government] agencies.

GSA created the Cloud Information Center (CIC) to serve as this cloud computing knowledge hub and frontline resource for Cloud Smart acquisitions. It contains a comprehensive collection of up-to-date cloud computing best practices, guidance, and templates from across the government. For the past year, the CIC has been actively educating government cloud stakeholders and demonstrating how federal agencies can leverage the technology to effectively enable their respective goals and missions.

As Plutarch’s insight into human learning demonstrates, putting all the information in one place is not enough, it must be presented in a way that is approachable and sparks interest. Having accomplished its first goal of centralizing the government’s cloud knowledge, the next iteration of the CIC delivers a positive digital experience that prioritizes accessibility and learning.

The enhanced CIC joins 18F, Centers of Excellence and FedRAMP in leveraging the Federalist platform and U.S. Web Design System to deliver rapid deployment and modern design. Visitors will enjoy an improved user experience: a cleaner interface, more intuitive navigation, and content organized in sequence of the cloud adoption lifecycle. The enhanced CIC follows the core user experience requirements set forth in the 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act, making it:

  • accessible and usable
  • based around user needs and tasks
  • consistent in appearance
  • securely hosted and connected
  • original, not duplicative
  • searchable
  • mobile-friendly

By embracing these human-centered design principles, the CIC will be more accessible to individuals with disabilities and better positioned to serve a wider audience.

The CIC is a collaborative effort. It will continue to promote and enable governmentwide adoption and deployment of cloud technologies without bias towards any particular contract vehicle, vendor or solution. It incorporates information and experiences from government agencies, industry, academia and other cloud-involved entities. If you are a cloud stakeholder who is interested in contributing to the CIC, making suggestions, listing a cloud contract vehicle or otherwise improving the tool’s comprehensiveness and accuracy, the GSA Cloud Team wants to hear from you.

Email cloudinfo@gsa.gov to contribute a cloud resource, share your feedback or to reach a cloud subject matter expert.

Please follow us on Twitter @GSA_ITC and LinkedIn to join our ongoing conversations about government IT.

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GSA’s Cloud Information Center: Mission Control for Your Agency’s Cloud Migration

Posted by Bill Zielinski
on June 5, 2019

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.

To visit the CIC, go to gsa.gov/cic. Click here for a CIC Virtual Tour. To learn more, ask questions, and receive updates, please visit and subscribe to our Cloud Interact community here.

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