GSA Wants Feedback on Restructuring Its Cloud Offerings

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The proposed changes add up to more than just a new name.

The General Services Administration is proposing changes to its special item number for buying cloud services, including a new name that will be more than just a change in the façade.

Cloud computing in the federal government has changed in the three and a half years since GSA created a SIN for the technology on IT Schedule 70, prompting the agency to propose a host of updates in a request for information released Monday.

The biggest alteration appears to be cosmetic at first glance: changing the name from just “Cloud” to “Cloud and Cloud-Related IT Professional Services.” But the name change better reflects the products and services GSA intends to offer through the SIN.

Changes throughout the SIN clarify the need to have distinct pay-as-you-go models for cloud products and differentiate between cloud products—such as infrastructure as a service or software as a service—and professional services. The latter offerings will focus on “cloud solutions, preparing for cloud solutions, refactoring workloads for cloud solutions, migrating cloud solutions and providing governance to cloud solutions,” according to the RFI. Vendors also can propose other services, “as long as they are specifically designed to support delivery or migration to the type of cloud products offered under” the SIN.

If modeled correctly, contracting officials expect the changes will divide offerings into three buckets: cloud products, professional services and cloud products bundled with supporting professional services.

“Offerors are not required to provide both cloud products and cloud IT professional services,” according to a note in the RFI. “They may offer one or the other, or both, if they have the full complement of capabilities.”

The proposal also suggests moving certain evaluation factors under a single heading.

GSA is accepting comments on the proposed changes through Oct. 9.

The White House has acknowledged the changing cloud landscape, as well, releasing a draft of its new cloud strategy on the same day the RFI dropped.