Last call for feedback on cloud guide for feds

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Throughout 2017, the hundred-plus feds who make up the federal Cloud Center of Excellence have labored to produce practical tools for agencies looking to modernize and move to the cloud. A draft version of one such resource -- the Acquisition Professional's Cloud Adoption Survival Tips, Lessons Learned and Experiences, or CASTLE, Guide -- has been circulating since August, and now the CCOE is making a final push for both industry and agency feedback before finalizing the document later this fall.

The CCOE, along with the Cloud Computing Acquisition Forum, is hosting a half-day conference on Sept. 26 to gather that feedback in person. The Combined Cloud Computing Conversation, which will take place at the Department of Agriculture headquarters in Washington, D.C., is open to all interested participants, but the registration deadline is Sept. 21

The whole point of the effort, Department of Labor Senior IT Project Manager Syed Azeem told FCW, is to "keep the momentum going, and accelerate the pace of cloud adoption. We’re listening to agencies, we want to engage more with the industry to get their opinions and understand what challenges they have on their end."

The 68-page CASTLE Guide has continued to evolve and incorporate feedback over the past six weeks, Azeem, who is the CCOE's advocacy and outreach lead, said. "The next step is to gain that in-person feedback," he said, and a final draft would follow soon after the event. "We’ll put it in the can, and then we’ll focus on some of the other deliverables."

Those other deliverables, Azeem said, will include a glossary of government cloud terminology; tailored primers for program managers, network engineers, budget professionals and other specific roles; a library of standard contract clauses to address various federal requirements; and guidance on crafting good service level agreements.

Azeem suggested that, like the CASTLE guide, these future resources can provide an important complement to the broader cloud policy goals put forth in the American Technology Council's recent Report to the President on Federal IT Modernization.

"The IT modernization report is providing the policy-level push," he said, but it tells agencies where to go, not how. "If you’re the agency trying to comply with that, and really start pushing on a practical level into the cloud, where do you start?" Hopefully, he said, the answer can soon be, "you start with the CASTLE Guide." 

About the Author

Troy K. Schneider is editor-in-chief of FCW and GCN.

Prior to joining 1105 Media in 2012, Schneider was the New America Foundation’s Director of Media & Technology, and before that was Managing Director for Electronic Publishing at the Atlantic Media Company. The founding editor of, Schneider also helped launch the political site in the mid-1990s, and worked on the earliest online efforts of the Los Angeles Times and Newsday. He began his career in print journalism, and has written for a wide range of publications, including The New York Times,, Slate, Politico, National Journal, Governing, and many of the other titles listed above.

Schneider is a graduate of Indiana University, where his emphases were journalism, business and religious studies.

Click here for previous articles by Schneider, or connect with him on Twitter: @troyschneider.


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