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GCN : November 2013
GCN NOVEMBER 2013 • GCN.COM 27 and more than a dozen other shared con- tract vehicles. OMB said all agencies that use Max. gov have access to Uncle Sam's List. Fed- eral agencies are the primary audience, though state agenciescan get access to the list upon request. Getting the word out is one thing: getting agencies over the notion of one-of-a-kind requirements presents another challenge. Industry and government executives sug- gested that agencies are beginning to break down that barrier, although traditional views endure. "Thinking is starting to change, but those types of cultural issues and change manage- ment concerns do persist," said Simon Szyk- man, Commerce Deparetment CIO. "Where we see the greatest evidence of change in thinking is in the kinds of services that are highly commoditized and therefore where there's the most commonality in require- ments across organizations, and also where there's the highest level of maturity in the commercial service offerings." Accordingly, much of the early activity in moving to the cloud has involved areas such as cloud email and cloud-based Web hosting and Web content management, Szykman added. Security has been a traditional concern with cloud shared services, but Bertolini said government-provided services could help allay those fears. When customers sign up for the county's cloud solutions, their data resides within government. "That breaks down a big roadblock right away," he said. Some challenges are harder to antici- pate, such as procurement wrinkles. GSA's EaaS BPA took more than a year to award. "While that work was going on, a lot of the larger agencies already started working on doing their own contract vehicles and doing their own awards," Kireilis said. The EaaS protest added several critical months to the process. "We think we potentially lost some customers...during that protest phase," Kireilis said. "We are now focusing on those agencies that are still in the require- ments definition phase." As government shared services provid- ers continue to work around the stubborn trouble spots, the economy may prove a key ally. The budget environment would seem to favor sharing services through cloud tech- nology, rather than building one-off system. So is wider acceptance around the corner? Brown said tight budgets and peer pres- sure will get more agencies into shared services. "The days of people duplicating effort and building up their own fiefdoms for commodity services is fast going the way of the dodo," he said. Peter Gallagher, group vice president of Unisys Federal Systems, said the cloud can help agencies reduce operations and maintenance costs, which siphon budget dollars away from innovation. But he not- ed that cultural barriers remain. "It's just not that easy for people to change the way they do business," he said. • Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation 1. 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