Hacking Federal Procurement of Cloud Services

On Thursday, June 26, ASI Government and Amazon Web Services (AWS) facilitated a unique workshop at the AWS Government, Education, and Nonprofits Symposium. The event, Hacking Federal Procurement of Cloud Services, was part of ASI’s latest innovation in social and informal learning, the cloud computing learning path.

The session was attended by over 30 people including representatives from the Department of Health & Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The purpose of the event was to harness the collective intelligence and diverse perspectives of participants from industry & government to create solutions to challenges inherent to acquiring cloud-enabled IT services. Specifically, the hackathon focused on three primary challenges:

  1. Improving understanding of cloud-enabled IT by writing requirements in plain language,
  2. Leveraging the full flexibility of the Federal Acquisition Regulation to devise acquisition strategies that enable agencies to take advantage of cloud benefits, and
  3. Creating evaluation methodologies and service level agreements to maximize the return on investment in cloud-enabled IT.

To facilitate the event, ASI and AWS developed two case studies based on real federal scope statements, the first for Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and the second for Desktop-as-a-Service (DTaaS). Two groups worked on each case study, providing an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the diversity in decision-making and possible solutions for acquiring cloud-enabled IT services. Participants were challenged to simplify the scope statements using guidance from FAR Part 11 by rewriting them with plain language, prior to tackling tougher challenges like developing an acquisition strategy and evaluation methodology.

As with all activities on our open learning paths, findings were captured in real time on our Google Drive platform. Our hope is that acquisition professionals will utilize these findings for their own acquisition issues, and contribute their findings back to the open repository as we continue to curate the cloud computing learning path. In this manner, we can work together to preserve, promote, and expand our knowledge of acquiring cloud-enabled IT services while earning Continuous Learning Points for our efforts.

Case Studies for Cloud Hackathon

We have version one of our case studies posted to the Google Drive as we prepare for tomorrow’s hackathon.

The case studies deal with Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Desktop-as-a-Service, an emerging cloud area that enables desktop virtualization for an enterprise. Our goal during the hackathon will be to work through an acquisition strategy for each scope statement while populating the Open SLA & Risk Registries. Additional challenges are described in the below slideshare.

We will be using laptops during the session, so updates will be made in real time. For those interested in the progression but unable to attend the event, you can literally watch us hack through the issues and submit our content on the Google Drive.

To support remote/virtual learning, we also uploaded each case study to NewsGenius, a site that allows anyone to annotate and provide feedback. Click here for the IaaS Case Study and here for the DTaaS Case Study.

There is still time to register for this inaugural hackathon session, and we look forward to making progress together while earning CLPs for our applied learning.


Learn, Earn & Hack the Cloud: Three Free & Open Events

Mark your calendar for these upcoming cloud learning path events:

  • Thursday, June 19, 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. (Eastern) – Lunch & Learn Webinar: Cloud Hackathon Preview
  • Wednesday, June 25, 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. (Eastern) – Webinar:  A Review of the Cloud Buyer’s Guide for Government
  • Thursday, June 26, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (Eastern) – Cloud Computing Hackathon Event 

Lunch & Learn Webinar: Cloud Hackathon Preview

Thursday, June 19 – 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. (Eastern) Click here to register!

Join us for a preview of the upcoming Cloud Computing Hackathon event on June 26 hosted by ASI Government and Amazon Web Services.  This webinar will provide an overview of the goals for the hackathon and how you can participate in this unique, practical application event.

Webinar: A Review of the Cloud Buyer’s Guide for Government

Wednesday, June 25 – 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. (Eastern)  Click here to register!

Join us for a special webinar in partnership with the TechAmerica Foundation, which recently published its Cloud Buyer’s Guide for Government to assist acquisition professionals in acquiring cloud-enabled IT services.  We will provide an overview of the guide and a review of the acquisition principles that we have discussed through our Advisory and webinar research.  Joining us will be two special guest presenters:

  • Keith Trippie, former Executive Director for the Department of Homeland Security’s Enterprise System Development Office and current CEO of the Trippie Group, LLC
  • Yogesh Khanna, Chief Technology Officer for CSC’s North American Public Sector and TechAmerica’s Cloud Committee Chair

Our guest presenters bring practical and operational experience in federal cloud computing, so you won’t want to miss this opportunity to learn from them.  Participants will earn one continuous learning point (CLP) for attending.

Cloud Computing Hackathon Event

Thursday, June 26 – 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (Eastern)  Click here to register!

Don’t miss the opportunity to participate in this unique, practical application event hosted by ASI Government and Amazon Web Services (AWS) at the AWS Government, Education, and Nonprofits Symposium in Washington, DC.  The goal of the hackathon is to take the challenges identified around acquiring cloud-enabled IT services and solve them at this in-person workshop.  The event is complimentary and space is limited, so reserve your spot today by emailing Frank McNally at fmcnally@asigovt.com and registering via the link above.  Participants will earn four CLPs for attending.