The Department of Defense decided to end the prolonged court battle over the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure program by dropping the JEDI cloud contract and announced plans to launch a new procurement effort to meet its cloud computing requirements.
DOD said Tuesday the decision was due to a more mature cloud conversancy, industry advancements and evolving needs driven by the launch of new initiatives such as the Artificial Intelligence and Data Acceleration and Joint All Domain Command and Control.
“In light of new initiatives like JADC2 and AI and Data Acceleration (ADA), the evolution of the cloud ecosystem within DoD, and changes in user requirements to leverage multiple cloud environments to execute mission, our landscape has advanced and a new way-ahead is warranted to achieve dominance in both traditional and non-traditional warfighting domains,” said John Sherman, acting chief information officer of DOD.
For the new procurement effort, the Pentagon said it plans to seek proposals from Microsoft and Amazon Web Services for its Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability program, a multivendor, multicloud, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract.
DOD said it will continue to conduct market research to determine if there are other U.S. cloud service providers that can meet its requirements.
Microsoft said it accepts and respects the Pentagon’s decision to pursue a new path forward to secure mission-critical cloud technology.
“What matters now is the way forward, as the DoD has a critical unmet need to bring the power of cloud and AI to our men and women in uniform, modernizing technology infrastructure and platform services technology, Toni Townes-Whitley, president of U.S. regulated industries at Microsoft, wrote in a blog posted Tuesday. “We stand ready to support the DoD as they work through their next steps and its new cloud computing solicitation plans.”
The Pentagon initially awarded the JEDI cloud contract to Microsoft in October 2019 but Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) filed a federal suit in Washington a month after to challenge DOD’s decision.