Skip to Content
MIT Technology Review

Silicon Valley’s finest all want the Pentagon’s cloud contract, even if it’s not a sensible idea

Category:

Some experts worry that awarding the work to a single firm might not get the military what it needs, and it could bring national security issues.

The news: The Department of Defense is currently looking to move its digital systems to the cloud—a contract worth as much as $10 billion over the next decade. Defense One writes that, according to one government official, “the race is shaping up as a three-way fight between Amazon, Microsoft, and Google—with Oracle a rather distant fourth.”

But: Axios reports that some industry experts are skeptical of the plan, arguing that a single organization might not be able to build exactly what the DoD needs. Plus, putting all the military’s secretive eggs in one firm’s encrypted basket might be convenient, but it could prove hugely problematic if the system was found to be insecure.

The Amazon issues: Meanwhile, Oracle’s CEO, Safra Catz, has reportedly told Donald Trump that the process for choosing the cloud provider seems to be rigged in Amazon’s favor. But while Trump apparently told her he wanted the process to be fair, a number of reports suggest that the president plans to “go after” Amazon, which could yet affect the contest.

Now what? It’s still early days in the procurement process, with a final draft of the Pentagon’s wants due to be published in May. But it looks as if competition will be fierce and, potentially, uneven.