As threats to our warfighters become increasingly complex and digitized, the Defense Department faces an urgent demand to deliver the latest, most secure technology. A single vendor award for JEDI fails to meet the Cloud Executive Steering Group’s (CESG) mandate to drive cloud adoption and is contrary to trends in the DoD and intelligence community.
When the DoD released its request for proposals for its Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud services contract in March 2018, there were mounting concerns over the direction the department was headed. Where industry officials had expected the DoD to pursue multiple vendors due to the project scope, they found themselves in competition for a single award. Earlier this year, competition was reduced to a contest between the two cloud giants: Amazon Web Services and Microsoft.
By committing exclusively to either one of these services, the DoD puts itself in the dangerous position of obsolescence and vendor lock-in. The department loses the benefits of competition among its providers, which drives the necessary innovation and cost control required to keep our warfighters protected. Cloud technology is developing at an extremely fast rate. Since the JEDI solicitation was released, thousands of new cloud services have emerged.
The JEDI award threatens impartiality within the DoD’s cloud environment. It is impossible to know if the DoD is getting the best services or a one-size-fits-all solution that pays its vendor. Ideally support comes from specialized providers in the form of expertise and professional services in conjunction with the cloud.
Our national defense requires innovation and agility. It is our hope the DoD focus less on single, monolithic, duplicative procurements and focus more on the underlying use cases, funding and solutions that drive cloud adoption.