More cloud offerings coming from GSA

Monday - 11/1/2010, 3:30pm EDT

Anyone attending the recent ACT-IAC Executive Leadership Conference in Williamsburg, Va., can tell you there was some great information on the future of cloud computing in government being announced and discussed at the event.

This includes the news that the General Services Administration has issued a notice on FedBizOpps.gov for e-mail-as-a-service under the software-as-a-service platform.

An industry day will be held Monday, Nov. 1 where interested vendors can get more information. GSA has also released its SaaS Email Pre-Solicitation Briefing Requirement document. GSA said it expects to issue a request for proposals by March 2011.

Katie Lewin, director of GSA’s Cloud Computing Program, told those in attendance at the event the agency is also considering a platform-as-a-service offering. Lewin said the agency is working with the U.S. Geological Survey among others to create a geospatial information platform in the cloud.

“It is the natural candidate for cloud computing because you have massive amounts of geospatial data stored all over government,” Dave McClure told Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller. McClure is GSA’s associate administrator for Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies and will also be speaking at Monday’s industry day. “If we can create a platform that would allow it to be stored securely and for common use, and leverage that across the entire government, I think we could see some unbelievable cost savings in the geospatial areas.”

Lewin said a RFP for geospatial could come out later in 2011.

Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra also had news about the draft FedRAMP specifications and requirements. The requirements document will be out soon and can be found on both FedBizOpps.gov and the CIO Council website when it’s released.

FedRAMP is a voluntary government-wide approach for agencies to submit cloud-based services to get certified and accredited (C&A) for cybersecurity once and trusted and used many times.

This, of course, all comes on the heels of GSA awarding 11 vendors a spot on the infrastructure-as-a-Service government-wide blanket purchase agreement.

How quickly will agencies adopt and start using the cloud services once they are available? Only time will tell.

Read more from Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller or listen to his report on this issue by clicking the audio link above.