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FCW : February 2013
Q What contract vehicles are best for agencies to use in time of budget uncertainty? A GSA Schedule 70 probably gives the most exibility, and almost every vendor in the federal marketplace is repre- sented on it. Getting new products onto the schedule is a lot faster than with Govern- mentwide Acquisition Con- tracts (GWACs), and multiple vendors already include capacity-on-demand, something several agencies are already using for storage, servers and infrastructure. After the GSA schedule, then agencies should look to their own GWACs if they have them. ose agencies somewhere in-between can either look to the GSA schedule or team with agencies that have a ca- pacity-on-demand contract. at way they don't have to go through a separate procurement and ordering is sim- pli ed and product delivery faster. Q Agencies have been increasingly looking to the cloud and shared services to cost-e ectively meet their needs. Should they accelerate their use? A For smaller agencies with low data security requirements, I think the public cloud o ering from GSA could have huge bene ts, saving them the need to build their own infrastructure. e bigger agencies with more sensitive data are looking to build private clouds. It may be the time for the idea of IT as a utility to come to the fore. If you look at the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), for example, all of its contracts are now for ca- pacity services delivered through the cloud, which is basi- cally a utility model. It's a big change for agencies, but if budgets and capex dollars continue to decline, I think it will happen a lot quicker than people expect. Q Even before the threat of sequestration, agencies have been prioritizing which IT programs to focus on under budget constraints. Do they need to do more? A Every contracting o cer and those involved in the budget cycle I've talked to in the past year have done studies about what they will do if they have X, Y or Z budgets. What they are asking for is the ability to pick and choose where the cuts are made. If they are given that latitude they'll be in fairly decent shape, but if they have to make across the board cuts under sequestra- tion, they'll have to scramble at least some of the time to deal with them. Q Do agencies have su cient tools to allow them to monitor and manage their IT investments under se- questration? A It's uncertainty in the marketplace and the federal bud- geting process that renders current tools somewhat in- e ective. But I don't think there's anything else out there that can help agencies more. e more mature agencies have used the tools they have to see what hap- pens if budgets are cut by certain amounts. Once se- questration and things like the continuing resolution are settled, they'll take whatever comes out of the back- end and map it to the work they've already done. Q Is there anything else that might help agencies, either through legislation or regulation? A e amount of GWACs out there probably served the needs of the marketplace at one time, but if GSA Sched- ule 70 was highlighted as the place to go for low pricing and competitive bids that would be a much more e ec- tive way for government to drive things if it's looking for savings. Also, there has to be a concern that, as the pres- sure to reduce costs increases the pressure on big busi- nesses to be more price aggressive, they might end up just doing away with their subcontractors. So I think there's a need to protect small businesses from being excluded. The Business of Getting the Most Out of the Cloud Sponsored Content Tom Frana, president and CEO, ViON Corporation For more Information on ViON, please go to: www.ViON.com
March 15, 2013