What does a cloud-based workforce look like?

Wednesday - 10/5/2011, 5:57pm EDT

Bill Eggers, Global Director for Public Sector Research at Deloitte

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By Jolie Lee
Federal News Radio

Imagine a future federal workforce that includes a group of "free agents" — feds who are ready at a moment's notice to help across government agencies on special projects.

That's the idea behind Deloitte's Fed Cloud workforce model, drawing on the concept of cloud computing. Instead of information, humans make up the cloud, giving agencies the flexibility to select from a range of knowledge and skillsets.

"If you think about how fast the world is changing right now...government can't move fast enough in changing those skill sets," said Bill Eggers, Global Director for Public Sector Research at Deloitte, in an interview with In Depth with Francis Rose.

Eggers pointed to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as an agency that could have benefited from Fed Cloud. CFPB, stood up a year and a half ago, had to hire 1,000 people very quickly, Eggers said.

"In our model, CFPB would have been able to reach up into the cloud, essentially, and look for all those different skill sets they need and who actually has that right now," Eggers said.

Fed Cloud would operate much like consulting firms. Employees would work on projects 80 to 90 percent of the time. In between projects, employees would go to trainings and get "skilled up," Eggers said.

The problem with the current federal workforce model is that it was created for an industrial workforce in the 1950s, when most of the federal employees were clerks in the bottom five grades. Today, those types of jobs account for only 15 percent of the federal workforce, Eggers said. Overall, there has been a "shift toward creative, collaborative, complex work," he said.

On Oct. 17, Eggers will return to In Depth with Francis Rose to explain more details of the Fed Cloud plan.

The video by Deloitte explains the FedCloud model — in the words of middle schools students.