Federal Manager's Daily Report

OMB has updated the government’s cloud services purchasing strategy, changing the focus from the nearly decade-old “Cloud First” to “Cloud Smart,” which the document says “offers practical implementation guidance for government missions to fully actualize the promise and potential of cloud-based technologies while ensuring thoughtful execution that incorporates practical realities.”

“Beyond Cloud First, which granted agencies broad authority to adopt cloud-based solutions, Cloud Smart offers practical implementation guidance for government missions to fully actualize the promise and potential of cloud-based technologies while ensuring thoughtful execution that incorporates practical realities,” it says.

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It includes a list of action items for agencies that will serve as a work plan for creating and updating programs, policies, and resources that the whole of government will use over an initial 18 month period. Further, agencies are to assess the need for and usage of applications and discarding obsolete, redundant, or overly resource-intensive applications; the CIO Council will develop best practices and other resources for that process.

The new strategy is founded on what it calls the three key pillars of successful cloud adoption: security, procurement, and workforce. Regarding the latter, agencies are to “identify potential skills gaps that emerge as a result of a transition to cloud-based services, and, where needed, equip their existing staff with additional skills and knowledge to keep up with the ever-expanding list of technology options available to procure and deploy.”

Reskilling of current employees should “focus on training and professional development opportunities” such as OMB’s Digital Information Technology Acquisition Professional program, certification and rotational programs and ongoing education. For new hiring, it stresses “use of pay flexibilities and removing bureaucratic barriers to hiring staff expeditiously” and aggressive outreach through hiring fairs and other recruitment methods.

The document is at https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Cloud-Strategy.pdf.