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More Competitive DOD Cloud Acquisition Driven by Marketplace Changes, Official Says

Cloud strategy

More Competitive DOD Cloud Acquisition Driven by Marketplace Changes, Official Says

Changes to the Department of Defense’s cloud strategy are brought about by technical advancements and marketplace changes, according to Sharon Woods, executive director of the DOD’s Cloud Computing Program Office.

Woods, who spoke with GovernmentCIO Media & Research, was referring to the department’s transition to the Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability, a multi-vendor contract serving as a replacement to the single-award Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract.

According to Woods, expanded marketplace maturity allows for multi-cloud and distributed-cloud deployment strategies underscored in JWCC.

“The contract terms will ensure that DOD is continually receiving the best tech solutions that the commercial cloud marketplace has to offer — at all three classification levels with tactical edge capabilities,” Woods said.

JWCC was first introduced in early July following the cancellation of JEDI, which was beset by legal challenges.

The DOD is mainly interested in obtaining JWCC proposals from Microsoft and Amazon Web Services. The two companies were in the running for JEDI and have been deemed capable of meeting enterprise cloud requirements.

However, additional market research will be conducted to determine whether other hyperscale cloud providers can meet the department’s cloud computing needs.

The increasing importance placed on cloud adoption across the DOD stems from recognition of the technology’s ability to support warfighting requirements, Woods noted.

In terms of applications, Woods said commercial cloud platforms serve as springboards for critical efforts like the Joint All-Domain Command and Control framework and the Artificial Intelligence and Data Acceleration initiative.

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