Intelligence Community Sees Promise in Multicloud Approach
The intelligence community’s approach to the cloud stands in contrast to the Defense Department’s initial push to adopt and enterprise commercial cloud capability. The DOD in July decided to cancel its single-cloud Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract and indicated it will pursue a multicloud approach, most likely with AWS and Microsoft.
The multicloud approach seems to be the one that agencies are pursuing to deliver advanced cloud capabilities at a faster pace. That does not mean the model is without its challenges for the IC, however.
“By their very nature, they are private sector mission partners, they are motivated by profit, they are motivated by competition,” Waschull tells FedScoop. “We’ve got to instill a core value in that we appreciate collaboration and cooperation, more than we appreciate any single technical provision or any single lowest price.”
The IT chief adds: “We want best value. We want to promote integration of effort, promote each different competitor understanding not only their product lines but understanding the capabilities and limitations of their competitors’ product lines so that they can work together to come up with the best possible technical and business solution to the government’s needs.”
To help manage such a complex cloud environment, the intelligence community will work with a systems integrator through a second, separate contract under C2E to aid in “providing knowledge, skill and ability to help the government make the best possible choices to devise that best-fit formula for cloud capacity and capability,” Waschull says.
The integrator’s “award fees are predicated upon helping us make not only the best technical decisions for the implementation of cloud capacity across our enterprise but to understand the various pricing models from each particular vendor,” Waschull adds.
“Understanding volume discounts, understanding the way they compute pricing and knowing it so well that they can advise the government to say between two or three equally competitive technical approaches, from a business perspective, this is the way you want to go,” he tells FedScoop. “Having that kind of incentivized professional analysis to help guide the decisions we’re gonna make, I think is wicked powerful.”