Dana Deasy, chief information officer at the Department of Defense (DoD) and a 2020 Wash100 Award winner, told Breaking Defense in an interview published Tuesday that the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud computing program seeks to deliver a unique capability to troops operating at the tactical edge.
He said JEDI satisfies several warfighting needs that other cloud environments cannot meet, including the capability to transmit data across unclassified, secret and top secret classification levels and handle data outside the continental U.S. and CONUS.
“At the end of the day, the most competitive way of looking at market forces is, where are the services going to? And they were clearly going towards JEDI because of what it offered in terms of technology and what it offered in terms of price,” Deasy added.
Deasy noted that the potential $10 billion JEDI contract has option periods, providing DoD the flexibility to decide whether to extend or not the contract as technology evolves. “If we saw that a vendor was starting to lose its competitiveness either on pricing, on speed of delivery, or on technology, you make it clear that if they were to continue down the path they’re going, there’s not going to be a renewal,” he added.
When asked about why the Pentagon decided to award JEDI to a single contractor instead of awarding it as an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract involving multiple vendors, Deasy cited the complexity of building cross-domain platforms to handle both CONUS and OCONUS and move data across multiple classification levels.
“If we’re doing IDIQs and every time we have a new warfighter need, we now are going to go out for three or four vendors, we’re going to put that out, they’re going to come back and bid, they’re going to give a solution and then we have to go back and now re-integrate that solution,” he said. “That gets be very hard and very complicated and very time consuming.”
This year represents our sixth annual Wash100 Award selection. The Wash100 is the premier group of private and public sector leaders selected by Executive Mosaic’s organizational and editorial leadership as the most influential leaders in the GovCon sector. These leaders demonstrate skills in leadership, innovation, achievement, and vision.
Visit the Wash100 site to learn about the other 99 winners of the 2020 Wash100 Award. On the site, you can submit your 10 votes for the GovCon executives of consequence that you believe will have the most significant impact in 2020.