cloud computing

Cloud leaders: Air Force, Justice, USDA, DHS

The leading agency in awarding cloud contracts in fiscal 2016 was the Air Force, thanks to a $30 million agreement with Agile Defense, according to Deltek.

The Justice Department was next with $28 million, according to the market researchers. The Agriculture Department awarded $20 million worth of cloud contracts, and the Department of Homeland Security handed out nearly $15 million.

Lawmakers have questioned whether that level of spending is commensurate with the Obama administration's "cloud first" policy. Leaders of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee have asked the Government Accountability Office to update its 2014 assessment of federal agencies' implementation of that 2011 policy.

The letter to GAO from the bipartisan group of lawmakers states that the update is particularly important to help the next administration assess federal IT management priorities. GAO's 2014 review of seven agencies' cloud efforts revealed that they had only devoted 2 percent of their IT budgets to cloud initiatives. The letter notes that the total was low because agencies did not consider cloud solutions for 67 percent of their IT investments.

Deltek attributed the Air Force's leadership in cloud contract value to the Installation Service Node/Installation Processing Node Pathfinder program awarded to Agile Defense in March. The program will provide a single hosting environment for Air Force Information Network core services and functional applications from the service's major commands, mission offices and program offices.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department owes its total to a $28 million contract to Dell for its virtual desktop infrastructure deployment. Among other agreements, USDA awarded a $20 million contract to SAP, and DHS awarded a $14.5 million contract for its Victim Information Notification Exchange to Project Performance Company, according to Deltek.

Despite the Air Force's lead in awarded contract value, Deltek said civilian agencies are ahead on cloud contracts overall. The company's preliminary research shows that as of September, civilian agencies had awarded cloud contracts valued at nearly $75 million -- $30 million higher than the defense sector.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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