Cloud.gov, the Federal government’s cloud platform that offers agencies a fast way to host and update websites and web applications, last month became part of a growing ecosystem where applications and development skills are portable across cloud providers.

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IT modernization in the Federal government will require collaboration, effective policies, and a focus on the true end-goal: improving the government experience for citizens, said agency CIOs and industry leaders at a May 23 FedInsider webinar on IT modernization.

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Federal agencies might not meet the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) data center closure goals, according to a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. Based on current projections, only 7,221 of the 12,062 data centers that agencies reported in August 2017 will be closed by September of this year.

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A new government-wide strategic plan on Category Management covering FY18-FY20 and released in late April aligns with the President’s Management Agenda and declares the Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contracting vehicle one of its key IT components.

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Eyes tend to glaze over at an Appropriations hearing. Seems Congress just pushed through the 2018 Omnibus spending bill, and the House is already back talking budgets for FY19.

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Jay Huie

Jay Huie, Cloud Portfolio Director for GSA’s Technology Transformation Service (TTS)–which includes FedRAMP–sat down with MeriTalk last week. He offered insights on his role at GSA, FedRAMP, and the perspective on the road ahead for cloud adoption, FITARA, and MGT.

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data management

It’s an old axiom: “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” And nowhere is that axiom truer these days than with Federal IT investments. Federal executives need to better understand, manage, and show value from money spent on IT resources.

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GSA

Do agencies have enough time to make a smooth transition to the new Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) contract by spring of 2020 when the older telecom contract vehicles expire?

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Another important piece of the emerging Federal IT modernization ecosystem is in place now that the General Services Administration (GSA) has given four companies the greenlight to start work on the first of five IT Modernization Centers of Excellence (CoEs).

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With compliance deadlines looming for Cloud Service Providers (CSPs), FedRAMP is ramping up its requirements for the monitoring of cloud systems.

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GSA wants Federal procurement officers to be able to shop for and purchase commercial products the same way consumers and businesses do: through an e-commerce site like Amazon.com.

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The cloud is not a one-size fits all solution, and, as such, the government is looking to invest in two or three cloud models to support the differing security and risk-tolerance postures of agencies and to leverage various shared services, according to the President’s IT Modernization Report.

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As you open your fortune cookie–you might ask, will 2018 be the year of widespread deployment of Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) tools across Federal data centers?

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Federal agencies are accepting some harsh criticism being doled out in a new report that says many are failing to fully comply with guidelines designed to protect against wasted IT spending.

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We see lots of moves to IT modernization in motion–but how does it all come together? The White House wants to tie those into a broader program, creating a new ecosystem to fuel government-wide modernization efforts.

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The General Services Administration’s (GSA) Emerging Citizen Technology Office (ECTO) is working with a network of partners from more than 300 Federal, state, and local government entities to help evaluate, test, and implement IT modernization initiatives with emerging technologies.

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The MGT Act became the law of the land on Dec. 21, when President Trump signed it into law as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This is the much-vaunted revolving capital fund–cut out of the original FITARA bill in committee–that establishes a central bucket of money at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), managed by the General Services Administration (GSA), for Feds to modernize legacy IT systems.

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Last July, the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) revamped the provisional authorization process to make life easier for cloud service providers (CSPs). The change let CSPs use a simple web form to delineate their business cases to FedRAMP’s Joint Authorization Board (JAB).

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The GSA is concerned that current cloud procurement methods are leading to confusion and a lack compliance with FedRAMP requirements. To curb the contract discrepancies, the GSA released a new RFI seeking industry input to “identify examples of preferred contract language agencies should incorporate to convey FedRAMP requirements in their solicitations,” according to a FedRAMP blog.

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The conversations during the planning part of the acquisition process are the most important to the success of the contract vehicle, according to agency procurement officials. “What I think is most important is how we come together to meet the business solutions to enable our mission,” said Soraya Correa, chief procurement officer at the Department of Homeland Security, at AFCEA’s Homeland Security Conference on Sept. 13.

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When starting an IT modernization project, agencies should ask what their end goal is before trying to figure out what their current state of affairs is, according to National Technical Information Service director Avi Bender.

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The General Services Administration (GSA) is experimenting with applying blockchain technology to its Schedule 70 Acquisitions, a move that keeps the agency on the cutting edge of technological advances that will ultimately best serve government agencies, according to Jose Arrieta, director of IT 70 Schedule Operations within GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service.

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