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!