GSA Eyes Consumption-Based Approach to Cloud Procurement; Jeff Koses Quoted

The General Services Administration issued in May its second draft policy that would allow federal agencies to buy commercial cloud services on a consumption basis under the Federal Supply Schedule program, Federal News Network reported Monday.

Jeff Koses, senior procurement officer at GSA’s office of acquisition policy, wrote in the draft policy that the consumption-based cloud procurement model seeks to promote competition and bring in new entrants to the FSS program.

“With a contract structure more closely tied to real time demand, this approach also provides greater flexibility to take advantage of technology improvements and better support cyber security. Tying cloud computing procurements to commercial market prices will also provide cost transparency without burdening contractors with additional transactional price reporting requirements. Plus, this approach promotes cost efficiency as it reduces the need to lock into long term contracts in markets where falling prices are reasonably anticipated,” according to the draft document obtained by FNN.

The draft policy applies to the procurement of cloud services using the special item number 518210C for cloud and cloud-related professional services and allows agencies to incrementally fund task orders to acquire such services.

GSA will analyze data on key metrics to determine whether the U.S. government improved competition, cybersecurity and cost transparency by buying cloud services on a consumption basis.

Koses noted that consumption-based cloud procurement may not be the best approach to pursue since there are other pricing models such as pay-as-you-go and upfront payment plans that could offer the best value to agencies.

“As such, the private sector routinely leverages combinations of these pricing models and the government should replicate this approach as appropriate,” he added.

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