Why Agencies Need Acquisition-as-a-Service - InformationWeek
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6/10/2014
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Why Agencies Need Acquisition-as-a-Service

An acquisition-as-a-service approach could solve software procurement inefficiencies for government agencies.

that support each DOD branch's unique procurement needs, without requiring costly manual workarounds. IDEAS will also operate at a fraction of the traditional operating and maintenance costs associated with similar systems.

With IDEAS, DISA is accomplishing three of its key strategic objectives at once: It is promoting agency- and DOD-wide acquisition agility; it is complying with its DISA-First mandate to serve as the DOD's early adopter for new enterprise capabilities; and it is promoting rapid delivery, scaling, and utilization of secure mobile capability across the DOD.

GSA PBS is also modernizing procurement in the cloud with its GSA Real Estate Exchange (G-REX) solution. G-REX was created using agile development methods to unite continuous process improvement, mobility, social collaboration, and data integration to optimize and accelerate leasing and lease management performance. It streamlines, simplifies, and monitors the government leasing process for both GSA leasing specialists and employees of other agencies who have been delegated to administrate the leasing process. This transformative approach to leasing and lease management was developed and deployed in less than 18 months, on time and on budget.

Both of these agencies have chosen to move their procurement practices to the cloud for better performance and to free themselves of the frustrations many of their colleagues still experience.

What's the moral of the story for other agency IT and procurement professionals looking to benefit from this acquisition-as-a-service approach?

CIOs should look at federal process improvement as automating a series of tasks all at once, rather than working with a string of legacy apps, each of which typically serves only one purpose. The costs of integrating these applications and updating the resulting stove-piped system are often too high to be put into practice, requiring cumbersome workarounds. Instead, CIOs should look to modern work platforms to develop a range of acquisition applications that can be rolled out and updated via the cloud -- with familiar social media user interfaces that can be used on-premises or on nearly any mobile devices.

It's a whole new way of conducting business. Automation within this acquisition-as-a-service approach allows applications to be much more streamlined, which improves time-to-business value and employee efficiencies.

Find out how a government program is putting cloud computing on the fast track to better security. Also in the Cloud Security issue of InformationWeek Government: Defense CIO Teri Takai on why FedRAMP helps everyone.

Chris O'Connell is vice president for federal sales at Appian. View Full Bio
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