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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Federal Grants from the Cloud

In case you mised it, the Department of Interior has announced that it plans to build a cloud computing platform to manage the processing and distributing of government grants.

" is re-aligning its business efforts to allow it to focus principally on its core business
This means that will no longer be in the ownership and management of IT
As a consequence, anticipates pursuing the acquisition of a "cloud computing" environment to include but not limited to service-as-a-service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) capability to fulfill its mission needs."

In a requirement description, the agency also clearly outlined its requirements.

"From a mission perspective, a cloud computing environment possessing the follow capabilities would be considered as a viable candidate to establish a relationship with

  • An established capability (technology and staff) to develop (with business rules), test, deploy, host, manage, and maintain forms on a single integrated technological environment (minimizing development & deployment costs, & allowing for rapid forms deployment)
    Delivers a compelling user experience
  • Built-in Scalability (up and down on demand), Reliability, and Security
  • Built-in integration with web services and databases (maximum leveraging of existing software & third-party web services)
  • Supports applicant collaboration (particularly in fellowship & complex/multi-project settings to meet applicant and grantor expectations)
  • Deep application instrumentation (to allow for highly granular analysis of user activities to enable future cost recovery models for grantors based on system usage vice flat or subscription fees)
  • Supports existing grantor and applicant system-to-system connectivity within the federal grants community
  • Ability to advise on forms development & management oversight to minimize duplication

Budget pressues are sure to make this route a popular option for many agencies.