DOD pushes cloud buyers to JWCC

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The Defense Department's top tech official directed defense agencies to tap the multi-vendor Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability contract for new cloud acquisitions and is requiring all top-secret cloud buys across the Pentagon and military services to use the vehicle for top secret capabilities.

The Defense Department's chief information officer directed defense agencies and Pentagon components to begin using the $9 billion, multi-vendor Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability cloud contract for new cloud buys. 

The JWCC was awarded last year and offers cloud services through Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Google and Oracle. The contract was the replacement for a controversial single-vendor contract that was awarded and then scrubbed amid protests and lawsuits.

In a memo publicly released on Thursday, CIO John Sherman said that existing cloud contacts must be transitioned to JWCC upon expiration. The memo covers defense agencies, including the Defense Information Systems Agency and other components covering accounting, counterintelligence, contract management, healthcare and logistics, as well as the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The memo also carves out an exception for DOD-based intelligence agencies including the National Security Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency, which will stick with the multi-vendor Commercial Cloud Enterprise vehicle known as C2E.

Sherman also directs the military services to adopt JWCC for secret or top secret cloud capabilities. The service branches are permitted to use their own existing contract vehicles, but the memo "encourages" the services to consider JWCC for cloud procurement.

Additionally, DOD is restructuring and renaming its cloud governance organization "to provide a broader forum to continue with existing and expanding digital modernization activities relevant to the department's information enterprise." The new organization, called the DOD Information Enterprise Portfolio Management and Capabilities Council, will tackle governance issues arising from oversight of classified clouds and cloud contract language.

As a first implementation step, Sherman is tasking fourth estate agencies with delivering information on existing cloud contracts, cloud providers, pricing data, use of integrators and resellers and future plans for obtaining cloud services. That information is due to the Office of the Chief Information Officer in 60 days.