GSA offers advice for cloud vendors

March 11, 2011

The General Services Administration offered advice to vendors trying to sell cloud services to the government.

Dave McClure, GSA’s Associate Administrator in the Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, told Federal News Radio vendors are definitely the innovators in the cloud space. But, he warns, vendors need to do more than repackage “their old solutions as cloud solutions. I think it’s doing a disservice. If that’s the pitch – ‘hey, we’re cloud’ – than all we’re doing is creating confusion.”

Mary Davie, Assistant Commissioner of GSA’s Office of Integrated Technology Services, joined McClure on In Depth with Francis Rose this week. Davie said despite the fact she’s not an IT person, she’s made it a point in her new job to learn about the cloud.

“It really made sense, from my perspective, to understand this, to understand how these things are defined, how agencies would want to buy the kinds of things they would want to move – or maybe not move – into the cloud.”

Davie recommends all agency managers that are interested in learning about the cloud should read the Federal Cloud Computing Strategy. Agency managers can also go to for more information on the various cloud services GSA offers, cloud case studies, and general information on cloud computing.

As for the age-old question about security that always seems to come with the cloud, McClure sees the days ahead when this isn’t as much of an issue.

“I think, as we evolve, you’ll see even cloud service providers will be able to take financial data, human resources data which are sensitive, and as long as we have assurances and they are passing security control testing and continuous monitoring activities that show that data is secure, it’s the same as doing it yourself.”

Listen to the full interview with McClure and Davie.