GSA considering a broker approach for the cloud

Tuesday - 7/17/2012, 8:32pm EDT

By Esther Carey
Special to Federal News Radio

The General Services Administration is seeking input from industry about the potential of developing cloud-computing brokers which could mediate between cloud providers and consumers. The agency released a request for information Tuesday to assist other agencies in moving toward the cloud.

The end goal is to "develop new and innovative ways for the government to procure cloud services in less time with higher value delivered, and allow government to take advantage of the inherent benefits of cloud computing," GSA said. The RFI identified several possible benefits of cloud computing, including pay-as-you-go pricing and the ability to easily take advantage of innovation.

Through this RFI, GSA is focusing on the possibilities of cloud brokerage. The agency also is interested in other information companies may have about general approaches to "acquiring, ordering, securing, provisioning and managing advanced IT services."

Three key questions GSA expects the RFI respondents to answer are:

  • Will cloud brokerage benefit cloud computing?

  • Is industry ready to deliver this service?

  • Is there a better solution, and if so, what is it?

In framing the RFI, GSA identified a variety of high-level outcomes and a series of functional goals addressing those outcomes. The goals break down into five major categories dealing with procurement, pricing, technology, innovation/competition and general requirements. GSA listed 22 questions dealing specifically with the idea of cloud brokerage, including:

  • Recommendations about an ideal cloud broker model between government and industry.

  • Input regarding how to utilize service-level agreements in the realm of cloud computing.

  • How a cloud broker may be able to help deal with security issues in the cloud computing world.

GSA will hold an industry day on Aug. 2 in Arlington, Va. to answer questions about the RFI. Companies have until Aug. 17 to submit responses to the RFI.

Esther Carey is an intern at Federal News Radio.

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TAG: GSA Industry Cloud Computing Technology RFI Esther Carey