Most visitors to GSA's Apps.gov are window shoppers

Site to be revamped to make content more accessible, encourage buyers

Federal agencies are using Apps.gov primarily for comparison shopping of cloud computer applications offered for sale rather than buying, a senior General Services Administration official said today at the FOSE trade show.

GSA debuted Apps.gov in the fall of 2009 as a platform to offer cloud computing applications for sale. “When we started out, I was not expecting it to be a research tool, but more of a procurement tool,” Katie Lewin, chief of staff at the Office of the Chief Information Officer at GSA, said at a forum on cloud computing.

“People are not really buying on Apps.gov. They are using it to check prices,” Lewin said. After checking the prices, the prospective buyers presumably are using that information to help structure their own cloud computing buys, she added.

While she is “somewhat disappointed” that more purchases are not being made on the Apps.gov site, Lewin said it was gratifying that tens of thousands of people have visited Apps.gov.

To attract more users, the site is being revamped to improve its design and make content more readily accessed.

Also in that session, Mike Anastasio, director of the GSA’s strategic solutions contracts division, said GSA has issued a special notice for its “Infrastructure as a Service” acquisition under Supply Schedule 70. The special notice was published on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site on March 22.

The procurement covers cloud computing, Web hosting, virtual machines and storage. GSA withdrew a previous notice so it could be revised and the security level heightened to “moderate,” from “low,” Anastasio said.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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