Welcome Login

For current information from GSA about COVID19 please click HERE

You are here

Think Before You Ink

Cloud Service Evaluation’s Role in Cloud Success

How should the government shop for cloud services?

As FY2020 approaches and the final iteration of Cloud Smart circulates through CIO offices across government, we should be asking critical questions about our collective cloud journey:

  • Are all the parties involved in the technological, contractual, and financial management aspects of the contract clear on their roles and responsibilities before an award is made?
  • Have we evaluated our present needs, future goals and how the selection of cloud providers might change the equation over time?
  • What does it mean to be truly Cloud Smart?

Government agencies have known the advantages of cloud computing for some time. They know that OMB and the Federal CIO Council are working to speed up cloud adoption and improve the efficiency of implementation. Other agencies have enjoyed seen initial success with cloud and want to take the next big step.

Unfortunately, many agencies don’t have the luxury of time and resources to prioritize true technological modernization.

Luckily, there are change agents within organizations who are ready and motivated to start their cloud journey⁠— they’re just not sure how to start.

The Cloud Service Evaluation Handbook

Knowing what you want and describing the functional technological requirements for it is only half of the challenge. You also need to be able to assess your vendor options, know the far-reaching implications of your choice, and make the most educated decision.

Scott Feuless is a prominent member of the NIST Cloud Computing Reference Architecture Working Group and has achieved acclaim for his understanding of the value that fundamental metrics provide to service buyer organizations. His 2019 publication, The Cloud Service Evaluation Handbook, has categorized, subdivided and organized these metrics in an easy to digest book full of examples. The GSA Cloud Acquisition Team, inspired by Feuless’ work, will be releasing an episodic annotated guide that details these metrics.

Know Before You Go

This series of features will increase awareness on this crucial aspect of cloud acquisition, ensuring agencies:

  1. Know the questions to ask cloud vendors;
  2. Understand each cloud service metric and how to score it based on agency priority; and
  3. Identify and include and all stakeholders in the process process so that the people with the right knowledge are guiding cloud programs to the right decisions.

Whether your agency’s cloud footprint is nonexistent, barely visible, or vast, government can always become CloudSmarter. Stay tuned.


For more information and your questions answered, please contact the GSA Cloud Products and Acquisition team at cloudinfo@gsa.gov and visit the GSA Cloud Information Center at gsa.gov/cic.


Views: 158

NEW.... the GSA Cloud Information Center hosted on the Federalist!  Get answers to your cloud questions! Federal government users can conduct market... More

This Information Hub:


  • Explains what Cloud Computing is and the benefits of federal cloud adoption 


  • Provides cloud computing best practices, guidance and acquisition templates 


  • Assists Government users conduct market research on cloud service providers


  • Supports the cloud adoption journeys of all Government agencies through direct GSA customer support!



For information about getting on GSA Schedules or general direct cloud support (for agencies or vendors), contact the GSA Cloud Acquisition Team at Cloudinfo@gsa.gov.
  • JDW327IMS's picture
  • greg.price's picture
  • TParker's picture