Cloud

Treasury floats $1B cloud buy

cloud (Phaigraphic/Shutterstock.com) 

The Treasury Department has released a new acquisition road map designed to shepherd the IRS into the cloud era while  emphasizing buying to support shared services.

The "desired end-state" of this strategy will be an enterprisewide, seven-year contract for a suite of cloud and professional services worth more than $1 billion, according to the document. The contract will include the full suite of services provided by Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Google and Oracle as well as more "niche" software- and platform-as-a-service offerings.

The department laid out tentative plans to issue a conceptual pre-solicitation to industry next year, with a formal acquisition expected to be awarded by 2022. It also described a range of contracting actions to keep the department's cloud programs humming along between now and then, including three- to four-year short-term "bridge" contracts for core cloud services and a recompete for a $200 million Amazon Web Services reseller contract set to expire next year.

The road map also included plans to increase the total contract ceiling for the department's shared services Workplace Community Cloud from $6.4 million to $9.6 million to support migration of a number of pending IRS cloud projects, such as their Enterprise Case Management System, Joint Innovation Lab and Continuous Diagnostics and Migration programs. While federal agencies have had the green light to move their infrastructure and services to the cloud since 2010, the IRS has for years endured accusations from Treasury auditors and others that it lacks a fundamental strategy to take advantage of the technology.

By contrast, the Office of the CIO at the Department of Treasury, which houses IRS, currently uses AWS and Microsoft to host the Workplace Community Cloud while also relying on providers like Oracle, Box, Acquia, ServiceNow, Salesforce and CEvent to provide additional services. According to the road map, Treasury expects its consumption of cloud-based services to grow by more than 30% every year for the foreseeable future.

One of the big takeaways from the report is that IRS and Treasury must be smart about what they purchase and which provider they choose to go with, lest they become "stuck" with one platform until pricing changes make a wholesale replacement financially feasible.

"The reality is that every [cloud service provider] has specific strengths and weaknesses tied to exclusive proprietary technical features, and the unique requirements for a workload will often make one cloud better suited than another from both a performance and cost standpoint," the road map stated.

About the Author

Derek B. Johnson is a senior staff writer at FCW, covering governmentwide IT policy, cybersecurity and a range of other federal technology issues.

Prior to joining FCW, Johnson was a freelance technology journalist. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, GoodCall News, Foreign Policy Journal, Washington Technology, Elevation DC, Connection Newspapers and The Maryland Gazette.

Johnson has a Bachelor's degree in journalism from Hofstra University and a Master's degree in public policy from George Mason University. He can be contacted at djohnson@fcw.com, or follow him on Twitter @derekdoestech.

Click here for previous articles by Johnson.


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