AWS Government, Education, & Nonprofits Blog

The Do’s and Don’ts of Writing a Cloud-Friendly RFP

Successful cloud adoption flows from well-designed procurement strategies and cloud-centric contract vehicles. Getting procurement ‘right,’ will lead to a portfolio of cloud technology and services that truly realizes the benefits of cloud computing.

One way to procure the cloud is by issuing an RFP. Public sector organizations can issue a solicitation to an SI or managed service/consulting firm and have them propose a comprehensive solution. This allows you to request comprehensive services, but designate that they must make use of public cloud services.

Below are some tips for writing a cloud-friendly RFP:


  • Focus on the outcomes
  • Maintain flexible language
  • Focus on functionality needed and overall performance-based requirements
  • Encourage recommended alternatives to deliver and/or enhance the services and outcomes you seek
  • Take advantage of fluctuating prices rather than a fixed price model
  • Specify commercial item terms


  • Be overly prescriptive
  • Include specific details, which may outdate the contract
  • Dictate the specific methods, hardware, and equipment to be used
  • Refer to part numbers to achieve desired outcomes

Learn more of the best practices in cloud acquisition and more guidance on writing a cloud-friendly RFP by visiting our “How to Buy” page.

Want to learn more about cloud procurement? Join Smartronix and AWS at the AWS Public Sector Summit June 12-14, 2017 in Washington, DC. Register today!

AWS Public Sector Blog Team

AWS Public Sector Blog Team

Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, the AWS Public Sector blog team writes for the government, education, and nonprofit sector around the globe. Learn more about AWS for the public sector by visiting our website (, listening to our podcast (, or following us on Twitter (@AWS_gov, @AWS_edu, and @AWSnonprofits).