DoD Sticks With Plan to Sign Single Cloud Contract for Billions

The Pentagon is pressing ahead with plans to issue a single contract worth billions of dollars for Internet cloud computing services in 2018 — despite industry concerns over just one winner, Nextgov reported Wednesday.

The Professional Services Council, an industry group, sent a letter to Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, arguing, among other things, that "competition in the commercial marketplace is driving rapid innovation by technology companies," The Washington Post reported earlier this month.

"[Department of Defense] should position itself to take advantage of this innovation by not limiting itself to the offerings of one vendor," it urged.

The concerns come as the Pentagon is increasingly reaching out to the commercial sector, the Post noted.

But Pentagon spokesman Patrick Evans told Nextgov there has been "no change in strategy for the [Cloud Executive Steering Group]. The acquisition will be done as a fair and open competition with an industry day in early 2018."

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," Nextgov reported. Additional services, like support, management, and training could generate other contracts.

The Pentagon's aggressive timeline calls for initial migrations of data to the winner by the first quarter of 2019, Nextgov reported.