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STATE Policy Agenda

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Procurement (Including Cloud Computing)

Executive Summary

TechNet's seeks to promote and support transparency, competition, cost effectiveness and professionalism as technology procurement processes are developed, adopted, implemented, and updated.  As states consider procurement reforms and legislation, TechNet will advocate for the following principles:

  • Measures that promote robust competition by the most capable IT service and solution providers.
  • Processes that are transparent, strategic, and start well before Request for Proposals (RFPs) are issued (including a framework for communication between the public and private sectors) to give government agencies a more informed understanding of current industry capabilities and practices.  This will also allow for the private sector to gain a deeper understanding of that agency’s unique challenges.  This will result in better RFPs, better contracts, and increased innovation.
  • Strong, visionary leadership is needed to drive innovation.  Efforts to create or strengthen the role of an executive-level officer with supervisory and operational authority over enterprise-wide IT policy, planning, and operations are encouraged.
  • Statutory flexibility to allow agencies to consider all relevant factors in addition to cost.  Using the best value approach, agencies can pursue the best service for a fair price, considering both short and long-term impact, the quality of goods and services purchased, performance history, total cost of ownership, and many other factors.  Conversely, “Buy American” preferences and locality-based sourcing requirements decrease competition and increase cost.
  • Flexibility in contracting is needed to foster innovation.  The complexities of IT service agreements are not well suited to uniform application of a standard set of terms and conditions.  Agencies should be allowed to use contracting vehicles that can accommodate the unique set of IT terms and conditions that are aligned to commercial best practices and can incorporate future innovations.
  • Efforts to better recruit, train, and retain procurement professionals with the skills needed to manage complex IT procurement acquisitions and oversee the implementation of the projects are critical.
  • Procurement reform at the local, state, and federal level that acknowledges the evolving technology landscape and enables the sale and use of innovative and secure products to be sold and used by governments.

Cloud Procurement

There are many facets of IT procurement.  One example of great importance is the adoption of cloud-based services.  Commercial cloud services and cloud-based solutions can drive lower costs and offer choices to states that want options when selecting IT solutions.  With the foundation of the principles identified above, TechNet supports the following as it relates to cloud procurement:

  • Best Fit, Lowest Cost: Promote agencies’ adoption of a standard that requires the state to select the computing and storage architecture that meets all business and technical requirements at the best value.
  • Efficiency: Create a procurement vehicle that enables agencies to easily acquire public cloud services without requiring additional time-consuming approvals.
  • Flexibility: Develop and advance policies that allow flexibility for states to adopt IT services that are both OPEX and CAPEX in order to utilize IT services and emerging technologies that best meet their needs.
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