GSA's proposed cloud brokerage grabs industry attention

The General Services Administration had so much response to its request for information on a possible cloud brokerage services that it has extended the deadline for responses.

Officials initially planned to close the window for responses on Aug. 17. The new deadline is Sept. 7.

GSA had more than 160 industry participants at the Cloud Brokerage Industry Day Aug. 2, and the wait list was large enough that officials could not accommodate everyone who wanted to take part, said Stan Kaczmarczyk, director of cloud computing service at the Federal Acquisition Services’ Information Technology Services Office.

“When we spoke to our industry partners and saw the great questions, interest, and knowledge we could potentially tap, we decided it was in the best interest of both the government and industry to extend the RFI,” he said.

A cloud brokerage is one concept that GSA is exploring to manage the acquisition of cloud services. A cloud broker is an entity that manages the performance and delivery of cloud services, and negotiates relationships between cloud providers and cloud consumers.

The RFI contains questions specific to cloud brokerage. Officials want to know if the cloud brokerage concept will bring the government more benefits from cloud computing and if industry is ready to deliver the service today.

Officials want to know how agencies and industry have used cloud brokerage already and what experience has taught them.

On a larger scale, GSA is seeking innovative industry approaches for acquiring, securing, and managing advanced IT services, according to the RFI.

“We want to be amiable to the requests of our industry partners to ensure sure we are making decisions based on the best information available,” Kaczmarczyk said.

Officials estimate that $20 billion of the government’s $80 billion in IT spending is a potential target for migration to cloud computing solutions.

This year, GSA has worked with six agencies to evaluate the cloud brokerage concept, as well as discuss high-level requirements. Officials are wondering whether there’s a demand for a next generation cloud acquisition model potentially based on the cloud brokerage concept.

GSA officials said they plan to pursue an approach in fiscal 2013 to meet agencies’ growing interest. The main drivers are the increasing use of cloud IT services and the government’s efforts to minimize the cost of capital IT investments. Officials are also exploring new ways to make adopting cloud computing easier and more effective for agencies.

GSA wants to learn more about how the government can leverage the key characteristics and advantages of cloud computing. They want to use it to save money and make IT work more efficiently—two emphases of agencies in these tough economic times.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

Featured

  • Contracting
    8 prototypes of the border walls as tweeted by CBP San Diego

    DHS contractors face protests – on the streets

    Tech companies are facing protests internally from workers and externally from activists about doing for government amid controversial policies like "zero tolerance" for illegal immigration.

  • Workforce
    By Mark Van Scyoc Royalty-free stock photo ID: 285175268

    At OPM, Weichert pushes direct hire, pay agent changes

    Margaret Weichert, now acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, is clearing agencies to make direct hires in IT, cyber and other tech fields and is changing pay for specialized occupations.

  • Cloud
    Shutterstock ID ID: 222190471 By wk1003mike

    IBM protests JEDI cloud deal

    As the deadline to submit bids on the Pentagon's $10 billion, 10-year warfighter cloud deal draws near, IBM announced a legal protest.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.