Fans of Star Wars need not get too excited. This is another kind of Jedi.
JEDI stands for Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, the Department of Defense’s (DOD) cloud procurement program.
The DOD is planning to award its commercial cloud computing contract to a single provider, a decision which has left many in the technology and defense industry unhappy.
The Pentagon issued a request for proposal in relation to the JEDI initiative on Wednesday and the deadline for feedback is March 21. The single indefinite-delivery, the indefinite-quantity contract is expected to be awarded in September and is expected to have a value of up to $10 billion over the coming ten years.
The contract is part of the department’s efforts to upgrade its technology and it is extremely important on many fronts.
The department stated that it prefers a single cloud provider so that there would be less complexity and difficulty in management.
However, companies like Microsoft and IBM are not too pleased as they believe it would be best to leverage the capabilities of multiple providers. CSRA believes the agency could be limiting its options over the long run by sticking to a single provider.
The Defense Department is viewing the cloud initiative as a key part of its strategy to stay ahead of other countries as well as to improve and accelerate its decision-making process.
Pentagon officials have assured tech companies that there would be a fair competition to determine who will get to build the DOD’s cloud network.
There are speculations that Amazon Web Services, which already won the CIA’s cloud procurement program, is likely to have an advantage in winning the DOD’s contract as well.
It is not clear how the current cloud procurement initiative will affect the existing cloud programs in the department.