The Defense Department’s cloud strategy is not yet set in stone and the department could still veer away from awarding a single cloud contract to one vendor.
In a statement, Pentagon spokesperson Patrick Evans told Nextgov the Cloud Executive Steering Group, which called for a “single award” contract in a November 6 strategy document, is still in a “fact-finding phase” and has not yet made a final decision.
The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI strategy, along with a coinciding public request for information, raised industry concerns that the Defense Department was moving to award one company a single contract potentially worth billions.
“[The JEDI strategy] is one of many draft documents used to spark discussion and debate in this ever-evolving review process,” Evans said. “But the bottom line is this: The CESG is still in the analysis and fact-finding phase of this process to determine how many contracts will best meet DOD’s needs.”
Evans said CESG plans to hold an industry day in early 2018, at which time the CESG will share its “plan and progress.” Any contracting action the Pentagon takes “will be a full and open competition,” Evans added.
As recently as mid-December, the Defense Department said it was sticking with its single-award cloud strategy. Yet the Pentagon’s consideration of multiple awards addresses concerns about vendor lock-in or favoring a specific company that industry trade groups voiced.
“It appears that they’ve heard the concerns raised and we’re appreciative that they’re revisiting the question and looking at how to best meet their mission needs to move forward,” said Trey Hodgkins, senior vice president for the Information Technology Alliance for Public Sector, which represents dozens of tech companies.