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BPM Software Can Fix Fed Procurement And it Should Be Done in the Cloud

Ben Farrell
March 16, 2011

Wonder why the current administration's new federal CIO is so committed to cloud computing? The current federal IT infrastructure's utilization rate is less than 30 percent.

Blogger Ann All in IT Business Edge commented recently about the spiraling federal debt and the runaway problems of redundancy in federal procurement. Ms. All cites a recent Federal Cloud Computing Strategy paper by federal CIO Vivek Kundra, which points to a raft of odd procurement practices. The Department of Agriculture, for example, apparently has 21 different e-mail systems. Cloud BPM can fix federal procurement, and save taxpayers real money along the way.

According to Kundra, a government shift to cloud computing will give agencies a way to aggregate demand and standardize IT offerings. That fundamental change alone could justify a wholesale federal ascent into the cloud. The accessibility of the cloud (as well as native mobile BPM on popular devices) spurs use, which could help that dismal fed utilization rate. Further, there's the issue of infrastructure cost. In 2010, 30 cents of every federal IT dollar was spent on data center infrastructure. These costs could be dramatically reduced by shifting to the cloud.

The Government Accountability Office also recently reported on the fed's technical infrastructure. In 1998, the government had 432 data centers. Today? 2,100. GAO says consolidation along Kundra's lines could save taxpayers up to $200 billion in the next ten years. Real money by anyone's standards.

Bottom-line: the impact of current and future federally mandated cuts to the government's budget could be significantly softened by moving to the cloud. And while the budgets tighten, Appian in the cloud can actually help agencies improve performance and responsiveness. In the case of federal procurement, the Appian Acquisition Business Management (ABM) solution provides everything you need.

Cloud computing is an inevitability for federal IT, and BPM software is vital to the future of government procurement strategy. Both represent a win for public servants trying to deliver the best services they can. Both are a win for taxpayers in removing significant bloat from federal operations. Hard to beat that combination.

Ben Farrell, Director, Corporate Communications