Interior to expedite its move to the cloud

Andrew Jackson, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Technology, Information and Business Services

Andrew Jackson, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Technology, Information and Business Services

Recently, Interior awarded a set of contracts valued at up to $10 billion that will let us expedite our move to the cloud. This move is central to transforming our overall IT capabilities, which we expect to result in benefits of $100 million each year from 2016 to 2020.

The contracts are in the form of ten individual indefinite delivery indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts. Each individual contract has a total cap of $1 billion dollars, so the total value of all ten contracts may be as much as $10 billion. Individual projects will be awarded via task orders, one for each project, following a one-off competition for the project between the ten selected vendors. All of the vendors have gone through an extensive process to gain their position as a contractor for this project. By doing it this way, Interior hopes to ensure the most competitive prices throughout the life of the contract.

The approach we've chosen also allows us to speed up our acquisition process, which in turn allows us to leverage this technology more quickly. We can now make our data and applications more accessible to the public, and to DOI employees across the country. We'll also be able to provide a wider variety of services, security solutions, and support than we currently do.

This is a change we've been eager to make for a while. The cloud hosting award was on hold until recently, when a contract protest was dismissed by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Now that we can finally move forward with these contracts, we're expecting significant reductions in hardware, software, and operations costs to the taxpayer.

Our first project under these contracts is for SAP application hosting. Additional services will include virtual machines, storage, database hosting, secure file transfers, Web hosting, as well as development and test environments. These contracts will not only allow us to move these apps to the cloud, but move them in a well-planned, methodical way.

We believe that having ready access to cloud hosting services like these will allow us to begin the process of closing or consolidating potentially hundreds of DOI data centers currently in use. Our hosting environment, which currently focuses on managing servers in-house, will be able to transition to a modern cloud-based environment, supporting the 25-point Implementation Plan to Reform Federal IT, the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative, and the Cloud-First Policy outlined by the Federal Chief Information Officer.

This project is just one of the many ways Interior is innovating our IT services. In May of 2012, we announced a contract award for Department-wide cloud email and collaboration services using Google Apps for Government, consolidating all of DOI's email services into a single cloud-based system.