Defense CIO Dana Deasy conducting ‘full review’ of JEDI cloud acquisition

Dana Deasy, after being sworn in as DOD CIO June 15, 2018 at the Pentagon. (DoD photo by Master Sgt. Angelita M. Lawrence)

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In the few weeks since being placed in charge of the Department of Defense’s cloud efforts, CIO Dana Deasy has launched a “full top-down, bottom-up review” of the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud acquisition.

Deasy told attendees Wednesday at the Defense Systems Summit he is assessing the Pentagon’s landmark, multibillion-dollar commercial cloud acquisition “to ensure we provide clear messaging from the department on our cloud adoption strategy, and the transparency on our approach with both industry and Congress,” according to his prepared remarks.

JEDI’s request for proposals — currently in the draft state — was slated to release in May but has been delayed now by more than a month. Deasy expressed Wednesday that he’s not as concerned with meeting that deadline as he is getting the contract right.

“This is not about making a certain date to get an RFP out,” he said, adding that the final solicitation shouldn’t be “a long ways off” and there is “a bit more work to do before we release.”

The main focus, Deasy said, is a final RFP “that truly represents what any smart intelligent company in private industry would do in seeking to put an enterprise cloud in place.”

Many from industry might hope that it means Deasy’s team is reconsidering the single-award strategy for the acquisition — a frequent topic of contention since the draft RFP was released. Deasy said in his prepared remarks that the Pentagon operates in multiple clouds currently, leading it to be “disparate and disjointed.” DOD doesn’t “have the true enterprise cloud that will deliver the efficiencies of scale the department needs,” the remarks said.

Deasy was placed in charge of JEDI and all other DOD enterprise cloud efforts June 22.

The new CIO, in the role since May, is a big fan of cloud transformation. In one of his first public speaking engagements with the DOD, Deasy called the cloud age of IT “a brilliant opportunity to re-engineer.”

“Cloud allows you to do amazing things you simply haven’t been able to do historically — the idea of just self-healing, awareness, the attributions of being able to get more services on the fly,” he said. “It gives us as IT professionals a whole new way to operate our estate and build the future of how we want IT to run.”

FCW first reported Deasy’s decision to review the procurement.

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CIO, Cloud, Dana Deasy, Department of Defense, DOD, JEDI