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Industry insights and technology trends for a modern, citizen-centric government powered by cloud

Cloud Procurement for State Government: It’s Not Like Buying Copy Paper

For years, cloud computing has been top-of-mind for state officials throughout the country – and many leaders recognize it’s the most efficient and economical way to achieve IT modernization. Yet, despite devoting significant time and money for cloud adoption, many government leaders still find themselves searching for the right formula to capitalize on cloud’s potential.

For many state government entities, the sticking point is cloud procurement, figuring out how to buy something that is markedly different from more tangible commodities, like cars, consulting services, or even copy paper.

In response, Oracle commissioned the Center for Digital Government to perform national research on state cloud procurement challenges. In total the CDG collected responses from 82 individuals representing 38 states from a survey conducted in 2017.

From this survey, our experts produced a guide to cloud procurement, including this helpful procurement checklist. When procuring cloud services, here are a few questions to ask your stakeholders and teammates:

  • How does the budget need to be allocated? Officials must understand the nuances of moving away from a fixed payment model.
  • How much staff time needs to be dedicated, and what skills are required? Staff time must be allocated to monitor vendor performance and manage service contracts.
  • How is data secured within the cloud data center? Understand the cloud provider’s capabilities for access controls that manage who can view and edit data, and analyze how data is segmented within a multi-tenant environment.
  • Do you have a working group established that includes both IT and procurement? This group should focus on the technology being acquired and should outline cloud needs for the scope of work.
  • Who owns the data? Ensure contracts clearly state that government retains ownership of its data.
  • What’s the exit plan? If the cloud provider becomes insolvent and ceases to operate, the contract needs clear terms for data portability to ensure states can retrieve their data and partner with a different provider
  • Where is the data stored? Know the physical location of your data.

These are just some of the questions that are asked, and answered, in Understanding Cloud Procurement: A Guide for Government Leaders. I’d like to invite you to read the complete report, and to review our procurement checklist, giving you some best practices to purchase cloud solutions.

 

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