Kundra: System will give agencies easier access to new technology

A storefront for federal agencies will provide a consumer-like way to buy technology

A new storefront for the federal government will let agencies acquire cloud computing technology as easily as consumers can sign up for Gmail accounts, federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra said today.

Under current rules, it can take an agency 18 months to two years to acquire technology that is available instantly to consumers, Kundra said at the Cloud Computing Symposium held at the National Defense University in Washington. The experience of acquiring technology for personal use and buying it for the government should be the same, he said.

The storefront will provide that access to cloud computing technology, he said. “We will abstract all the complexity for agencies so they do not have to worry about federal compliance, certifications and accreditations. So literally,  you’ll be able to go in as an agency and provision technology on a real-time basis.”

A federal cloud computer working group is examining how government agencies can use the technology. There will likely be a shift toward service-oriented technology in three areas: software as a service, platforms as a service, and infrastructures as a service, Kundra said.

Agencies are often slow at adopting technology because the acquisition process is too difficult and complex, Kundra said. Agencies sometimes build technology in-house at 10 times the cost of commercial tools because in-house work is easier, he said.

Plans are also under way to build a federal government cloud specifically for sensitive information, Kundra said.

A major problem for agencies in adopting cloud technology is that in a public cloud, organizations do not know where data is physically stored. A private cloud controlled by the federal government would alleviate that problem, Kundra said.

Federal agencies need the flexibility of having access to both public and private cloud computing environments, he said, adding, “The reality is we cannot operate in just one world.” 


About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Federal Computer Week.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Fri, Jul 17, 2009 Dan

For someone to say that it takes "18 months to 2 years" for the government to procure technology demonstrates a dire lack of knowledge of the federal procurement process. There are over 5,000 vendors currently on the Group 70 GSA Schedule, a contract vehicle which offers the latest and greatest technology under very streamlined procurement rules (See FAR 8.4). Sites like GSA Advantage put all these vendors' products at the fingertips of government buyers. There simply is no "18 month to 2 year" delay. Federal buying regulations must strike a balance between the need for access to current technology and the need to ensure that federal dollars are spent with responsible vendors that can provide that technology at fair and reasonable pricing. GSA's IT Schedule program already provides this balance. While no one would ever say that the GSA Schedule process is perfect, the hardware, software, and services available on the Group 70 contracts really do offer the government the latest and greatest technologies at nowhere near the mythical multi-year delay asserted by CIO Kundra.

Thu, Jul 16, 2009 jt Tennessee

I totally disagree that building in-house technology costs 10 times as much. As much as what? Outsourcing and then paying through the nose for every mod and annual maintenance??? At least in-house technology is our agency's intellectual property (IP). It is subject to our security measures and monitored by us. The users and designers here answer to the same top boss so if we need something tweaked, we don't have to beg for the outside vendors time and cooperation to make little changes. We also don't get charged BIG BUCKS for little work. Plus, anything we design in-house that is common to other government entities similar to ours could actually be shared or "sold" to bring in revenue for our department. It seems that most agencies don't realize IP is salable .

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group