AUSA 2022 — The Army is launching a new contract worth up to $1 billion to support moving its systems to the cloud in an effort to help reduce costs and save money, the service’s chief information officer revealed, following the release of the service’s updated cloud plan.
The multi-award, multi-vendor Enterprise Application Migration and Modernization (EAMM) contract is set to start in the second or third quarter of this fiscal year, Army CIO Raj Iyer said Tuesday at the annual Association of the US Army conference. The intent is to have one single contract vehicle to support moving Army systems to the cloud, which currently doesn’t exist, that will be quick and cheap.
“This is going to become the easy button for the Army to actually move to the cloud,” Iyer said. “Because right now, what’s happening is even when we have commands that want to move to the cloud today, there is not one contract that they can go to move to the cloud. So they’re doing a lot of shopping. They got to go to multiple contracting centers to go find the right vehicle and then when they go there it takes them nine months before they actually get on contract.”
Iyer added he wants to shorten that timeline and award a task order under the contract in just four weeks. The CIO’s office will be spearheading the effort with the help of the Army’s Enterprise Cloud Management Agency.
EAMM is another step to help the service move toward its goals outlined in its new cloud plan, which was unveiled on Monday during the conference. In a departure from its previous 2020 iteration, the updated plan includes the implementation of zero trust architecture — a security framework that assumes a network is always at risk of being exposed to threats and requires all users to be authenticated and authorized.
Iyer also announced on Tuesday the Army is establishing an “integrated program office” in order to align the service’s zero trust efforts under a single command and control as the Army prioritizes cybersecurity over the next year.
“So for us, you know, because we’ve had a number of different efforts on the cybersecurity side, many have come up in their own way,” Iyer said. “So NETCOM [Network Enterprise Technology Command] has been doing something, Army Cyber Command… the PEOs have been building solutions. So in FY23 what we’re doing different is we’re now establishing an integrated program office for zero trust… getting under a single program office is the way to do it.”
The Army’s zero trust push is part of a broader effort by the Defense Department CIO to implementing a zero trust architecture across the entire department in the next five years. DoD is expected to release a zero trust strategy sometime this year.