Michael Garland, principal at Garland LLC, details why implementing “consumption-based solutions” are important for the future of cloud acquisition.
One of the Section 809 Panel’s recommendations for tech acquisition is to change the way that the Department of Defense purchases cloud services. The panel says the Federal Acquisition Regulation is too narrow to support new technology business models, and that there needs to be a new category that would fit cloud services. Michael Garland, principal at Garland LLC, agrees with the panel that “consumption-based solutions” is important for the future of acquisition. “They are saying let’s acknowledge that there’s a new category of solution… We should define it so the contracting officers are comfortable with what fits into that category and then ensure that we can pay for it in a way that takes advantage of the best thing about cloud, you only pay for what you use after you use it, rather than paying for it up front.” Garland said. “…The government is required to scope what it buys carefully. To go outside of the scope is to invite a protester and invite problems. We are defining these consumption-based services in a traditional product way; it has to fit within this box. Well, the value of cloud is this constant innovation and new services. If I’m locked into a provider and suddenly down the road they develop some really cool whiz-bang new service that supports my mission and I’d really like to use it. If I turn it on, I’m outside of the scope of my contract, and I’m potentially in trouble. So, that’s what the 809 panel says. ‘Let’s get a new type of category of things that we buy, let’s align the payment to pay in arrears based on consumption and let’s get the flexibility to add things to it that previously we might consider out of scope.’”