Despite industry criticism, the agency clarified its aggressive cloud strategy will continue as planned.
The Defense Department is not letting blowback or criticism from industry slow down its emerging cloud strategy, which could see it award an enterprise contract worth billions to a single company by the end of 2018.
The accelerated approach prompted industry concern and calls for the Pentagon to slow down or change course, but led by a Cloud Executive Steering Group reporting directly to leadership, the Defense Department is doing anything but.
“There has been no change in strategy for the CESG,” Pentagon spokesperson Patrick Evans told Nextgov. “The acquisition will be done as a fair and open competition with an industry day in early 2018.”
The next steps, as outlined in the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, strategy, will be a draft solicitation for a “single-award, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract using full and open competitive procedures.”
The contract would be awarded to a single cloud service provider for up to 10 years “to deliver services for cloud computing and platform services” for “all DOD organizations.” Other contracts, according to the memo, could be issued for additional services, such as migration support, application modernization, change management and training.
The Pentagon’s aggressive timeline calls for initial migrations of data to the new contract by the first quarter of 2019.
Strategically, the Pentagon’s approach shares commonalities with that of the CIA, which ultimately selected Amazon Web Services for a 10-year enterprisewide cloud contract four years ago worth $600 million.