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OMB Seeks Public Comments on Draft ‘Cloud Smart’ Strategy; Suzette Kent Quoted

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The Office of Management and Budget has issued a new draft strategy that seeks to help federal agencies facilitate the adoption of cloud platforms in support of their mission requirements.

A White House release published Monday says the Cloud Smart strategy marks the first update of the previous cloud policy, Cloud First, introduced in 2010.

“Cloud Smart embraces best practices from both the federal government and the private sector, ensuring agencies have capability to leverage leading solutions to better serve agency mission, drive improved citizen services and increase cyber security,” said Suzette Kent, federal chief information officer.

The new strategy focuses on procurement, security and workforce as components of information technology modernization.

The draft strategy’s security aspect intends to update the Trusted Internet Connections policy, speed up the certification of cloud service providers under the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program and advance data security.

The procurement area of the strategy will promote the use of category management to enhance buying practices, adopt a two-track approach to facilitate cloud purchases through service level agreements and advance security requirements for contracts.

The workforce aspect aims to identify skills gaps; implement reskilling strategies and retain federal employees; and execute employee communication and engagement plans as well as transition strategies.

Under the new strategy, the CIO Council and Chief Financial Officer Council will collaborate with OMB, Department of Homeland Security, General Services Administration and other agencies to create an action plan in the next 18 months to advance the implementation of the Cloud Smart policy.

Public comments on the draft strategy are due Oct. 24, according to a Federal Register notice.