Gartner Group to develop federal metrics

The Gartner Group has received a $22 million contract from the General Services Administration to develop metrics under the Information Technology Infrastructure and Optimization Line of Business effort.

Under the one-year contract with four one-year options, the company will collect and analyze data to set baseline performance measures that will allow agencies to optimize their networks' and data centers' performance, a GSA spokeswoman said.

Gartner will initially focus on developing metrics for desktop PCs and then move to telecommunications and data centers in the contract's out years.

The contract comes after more than a year of work under the LOB. GSA first released a request for information in April 2006 and then a request for proposals in February through the Mission Oriented Business Integrated Services Federal Supply Schedule.

The Office of Management and Budget found that agencies spend about $22 billion a year on desktop computers, telecom and data centers, and there is no governmentwide standard for these initiatives. OMB also found that governmentwide infrastructure costs cannot be easily calculated.

David Perara, research director at Government Insights, said a recent report by his firm pegs the government's costs savings goal of 20 percent to 30 percent as optimistic.

"To meet the challenge of reducing total cost of ownership, the government will struggle to clearly define the baseline service and identify all the costs associated with the service descriptions," Perara wrote in the report. "The baseline service must include the current level of service being provided along with the associated resources. Often, resources can be shared, unidentifiable, or difficult to define within existing tracking systems."

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