In line with our blog post of August 5 on cloud computing, the General Services Agency (GSA) has released a special notice outlining requirements of cloud computing vendors. According to a post on nextgov.com, the GSA anticipates creating a “storefront” of on-line applications for government “in an attempt to replicate the shopping experience of commercial sites such as Amazon.com.”
A key element to the requirements (and any cloud computing arrangement) is security. The special notice states the contractor will be responsible for things like securing and maintaining the network, and security of the operating system. It also states a detailed service level agreement must be in place that describes methods of user access and account creation.
The article suggests (and we agree) the likely contracting vehicle for cloud computing “software as a service” will be the GSA’s IT Schedule 70.
Look for cloud computing to receive significant attention over the next 24 months. Contractors with the ability to deliver software or infrastructure solutions to the Federal Government should think seriously about committing resources to developing the security features, functionality and documentation that will be required. Look for more RFQs related to cloud computing coming soon.