Cloud Migration Next Big Priority for DOD?

cloud computingStephanie Meloni_65x85by Stephanie Meloni, Senior Analyst

Lately we’re seeing cloud migration at DOD gain some real traction and more importantly, the IT dollars behind it are making the cloud DOD’s next big IT priority. At DISA and the Army there have been recent signs DOD may finally be taking the necessary steps to migrate data and applications to the cloud. Moving to the cloud is seen as the next critical step for the Joint Information Environment (JIE).

DISA is no longer the designated “cloud broker” for DOD, however the Department is serving as the de facto advisor for cloud computing and will still remain in charge of cloud standards and security requirements. DISA just issued a best practices document for DOD customers looking to purchase commercial cloud solutions. This document is not about DOD policy in regards to the cloud, but rather a reference guide for government customers planning to migrate to the cloud, outlining different cloud models’ features and benefits, based on lessons learned throughout the DOD. The Army’s CIO/G-6 office released the Army Commercial Cloud Services Provider Policy. This publication focuses on the Army’s process of system and application rationalization, ensuring that both are reviewed properly before moving over to Commercial Services Providers (CSPs) in the cloud. It’s important for industry to review these documents in order to understand DOD customers’ processes, as well as the challenges they face as they move to the cloud.

With these policies and guidance in place, the Army has been able to take the next steps in shaping cloud procurements for the agency and is now preparing to act on their goal of migrating all enterprise-level systems and applications to the cloud by the end of FY18. Army hosted an industry day on July 29 for their Cloud Hosting Contract Vehicle, bringing together leaders from the DOD OCIO, Army CIO/G-6, and Program Executive Office of Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS). The Army plans to award this contract to multiple large and small business vendors in order to migrate business data into the cloud.

Procurements under the Cloud Hosting Contract should be fast moving as the Army is tasked with moving about 10-12K applications to the cloud by the end of FY18. The agency plans for the contract, once awarded, to feature on ramps” which will fast track new cloud technologies to the contract as they hit the market. Vendors that sell cloud and application rationalization solutions will want to demonstrate how their solutions can support open standards, as the Army wants to avoid vendor lock-in. Another key item for vendors to keep in mind is cost may be a slightly less sensitive issue when it comes to the Army’s enterprise cloud solution, however, vendors need to be able to demonstrate their products’ benefits (and the value it brings to customers), as cost-benefit analyses are going to be a huge part of cloud solutions, beginning with the initial applications rationalization piece.

If you need help identifying top federal decision-makers and opportunities tied to the Cloud Hosting Contract, contact immixGroup’s industry-leading Market Intelligence team today to learn about specific offices and contacts that have a pressing need for your solution.

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