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DIA, NIH eye the cloud for streamlining processes

Agencies are looking to the cloud to help them improve the efficiency of their internal processes.

The Defense Intelligence Agency has asked for industry input on a cloud-based system to help it re-engineer its financial management processes.

In a July 21 request for information, DIA outlined its needs for systems that can interface with the agency's current financial management systems and perform planning and budgeting -- and possibly contracting and acquisition -- functions.

Proposed systems should be able to support audits, data mining and ad hoc reporting on funds' commitment, obligation and expense, the receipt of goods and other transactions of record. Systems should also be able to facilitate portfolio management so DIA can align budget lines, acquisitions and expenses with specific portfolio capabilities.

All solutions must be accredited to operate in a Top Secret/SCI environment and are expected to operate in a classified cloud environment, which is based on Amazon Web Services.  Responses to the RFI are due Aug. 18. 

The National Institutes of Health, meanwhile, wants information on reducing costs in its grants coding system, whether by migrating the current system to the cloud or replacing the existing system with a cloud-based one from a Federal Risk Authorization Management Program-certified provider.

NIH's current enterprise solution is a subscription the Scientific Coding System OnDemand, which it offers to all NIH institutes, centers and offices (ICOs). The web-based application helps users tackle specific grants tracking, scientific coding and reporting needs.

Currently, six NIH/ICOs are using the system, and NIH wants identify potential cost savings as well the feasibility of moving the system to the cloud so it can take advantage of scalable compute capacity and the ability to deliver a secure, browser-independent environment capable of supporting multiple needs with private and restricted datasets.

Specifically, NIH is asking for information on vendors' experience with FedRAMP-compliant data analytics solutions that support collaboration, data visualization, experimentation and policies governing restricted datasets.

Responses to the RFI are due by Aug. 7. 

About the Author

Sara Friedman is a reporter/producer for GCN, covering cloud, cybersecurity and a wide range of other public-sector IT topics.

Before joining GCN, Friedman was a reporter for Gambling Compliance, where she covered state issues related to casinos, lotteries and fantasy sports. She has also written for Communications Daily and Washington Internet Daily on state telecom and cloud computing. Friedman is a graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied journalism, politics and international communications.

Friedman can be contacted at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @SaraEFriedman.

Click here for previous articles by Friedman.

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