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For example, if consumption fell below a set level, the contractor would be entitled to keep the remaining funds. Where consumption exceeds agency forecasts, acquisition profes- sionals could modify contracts to add funds, but those actions are costly and time-consuming. One way to limit some of the prob- lems with fixed-price cloud purchasing is to use a governmentwide multiple- award contract. Services under those vehicles are standard and, therefore, a good fit for a commercial item such as cloud IT. Ordering through those contracts generally reduces the time it takes to award a contract and trims acquisition costs. GSA is considering adding a new special item number for cloud computing services to its multiple- award IT Schedule 70. The plan is to “increase visibility and access of cloud computing service to customer agencies,” according to GSA’s July 9 request for proposals on the new SIN. Lasso the cloud Other possible strategies include sin- gle-agency indefinite-delivery, indefi- nite-quantity contracts with multiple vendors or requirements vehicles. Requirements contracts, described in FAR Part 16.503, are especially appli- cable to cloud procurement because they cover all the purchase require- ments of a service with performance scheduled through orders against the contract. Requirements contracts tra- ditionally are single-award and have fixed unit prices. Stand-alone contracts support the modular approach discussed above and are useful for buying cloud sup- port for a single application or pro- gram. Cloud brokers managed by federal agencies, such as the Defense Information Systems Agency, or by contractors also are appearing in the federal market. As Day told the cloud acquisition conference, the hype cycle is ending and now the hard work begins. Given cloud’s potential for savings and the Office of Management and Budget’s mandate to consider it first for new IT investments, the approach will be around for a while — long enough for acquisition professionals to lasso and tame it for 21st-century use. ■ Kymm McCabe is CEO of ASI Government, which provides support, research, education, news and tools to more than 45,000 federal acquisition professionals at 130 agencies through the company’s Virtual Acquisition Office and Applied Learning Online. Frank McNally is a content developer and Anne Laurent is director of strategic initiatives at ASI Government. AcquisitionMatters 22 September 15, 2014 FCW.COM FCW Has Gone Mobile. Go to fcw.com/tablet to download the tablet app today! Your mobile fcw.com experience — optimized. Visit fcw.com from your smartphone and enjoy the easier navigation and new sharing options Y e Vi na
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