Over the last week or so a few events have witnessed that the US Federal Government, and in particular the GSA, is in the process of accelerating its cloud computing initiative and making it more relevant after the launch of apps.gov (which went largely unnoticed from a procurement perspective) and a failed RFQ for infrastructure-as-a-service services.
The federal cloud computing initiative is now part of the recently renamed Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies. and soon led by Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia, CIO at Department of Interior.
Last week the GSA launched an RFQ for IaaS, which replaced the one launched last year and canceled in February. Also, it launched info.apps.gov, which provides general information about cloud computing for federal agencies to get acquainted with concepts and examples. Also, as US CIO Vivek Kundra reminded last week, the federal cloud computing initiative keeps pursuing a standardization effort, especially in the area of security where the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) should ease the Certification & Accreditation process required today for compliance with FISMA regulations.
It is clear that the feds are getting serious about cloud computing and are trying to address the legitimate concerns that federal agencies still have in adopting this model.
While most of the information on info.apps.gov is very helpful, there is still room for improvement in highlighting more clearly the full list of criteria to select cloud as an option, as well as to better position vendor and government own offering.
Gartner has just published a series of research notes dealing with all this. Clients can start from the introductory article Governments in the Cloud (login required)