GSA plans its next big step into the cloud

Agency looking for a provider for enterprise IT management services

The General Services Administration is looking to take enterprise IT management to the cloud, starting by the end of 2011.

GSA is seeking industry feedback on options available for a cloud-based approach for enterprise IT management. Rising software maintenance costs and the in-house service provider’s inability to keep up with software updates and major application releases has prompted the Office of the Chief Information Officer to look for an alternative.

A software-as-as service model will allow the IT team to manage services, projects, products, people and financials through any Web browser using any device, GSA officials said.

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“EITM SaaS is a smart alternative to the current on-premise applications, which will keep the OCIO staff productive without costly deployment and maintenance expenses,” according to the request for information released May 20. Software as a service is a model of software deployment whereby a provider licenses an application to customers for use as a service on demand.

EITM provides management control across the enterprise by integrating and automating the management of IT applications, databases, networks, security, storage and systems across departments and disciplines. As a result, GSA OCIO expects to be able to unify and simplify IT management across its enterprise. The current EITM system has a common database and modular software design that includes many system management tools from CA Technologies.

GSA wants a SaaS provider that can offer IT management applications from the cloud that are based on the Information Technology Infrastructure Library, a set of concepts and practices for IT services management. ITIL-based tools would automate industry-proven best practices for request, incident, problem, change, configuration and knowledge management, GSA officials said.

The IT client management, asset management, and network service monitoring and system management tool should have the ability to leverage the existing data from EITM’s Service Desk tool, the RFI states.

GSA officials anticipate launching a proposed solution by August and expect to make an award of the successfully piloted solution by December.

“We are ramping up for a vigorous schedule to have a solution in place by December and participation is encouraged," GSA officials said, noting that the RFI is an opportunity for industry to offer feedback in the early stages of the market research and pre-solicitation.

There are challenges in moving from on-premise applications that are based on a common database to a SaaS model. As a result, GSA has a document that contains 10 sections of questions covering general issues, data center/backup, security, integration, scalability, feasibility, availability, monitoring, service and acquisition.

Interested vendors should submit their written responses to the attached questions no later than June 13 at 2 p.m. Eastern via e-mail only to the primary contact: Teresa Blake via email at [email protected]. No telephone inquires will be accepted.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.


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