Much has been written in the last year about the lucrative $10 billion cloud computing contract up for tender with the Pentagon. In recent times, Amazon were seen as the front runners and favorites. At the end of October, however, it was announced that Microsoft had, in fact, landed the lucrative deal.
This cloud computing contract is part of a much larger digital modernization process that the Pentagon is planning to undertake. It has been mired in controversy, not least because of conflict of interest issues, bringing President Trump and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in conflict.
Amazon Web Services Set to Protest
Much of the disquiet surrounded an Amazon employee who worked at the Defense Department before returning to the major retail outlet’s Amazon Web Services arm, suggesting a conflict of interest. The company is considering protesting the decision and say they are surprised at the outcome, particularly when both propositions were considered on like-for-like basis.
The Pentagon is supposedly the world’s leading fighting force but, as with many government agencies, fallen behind in taking on new technology. Cloud services are now largely in use by many major companies around the world and staff at the Pentagon have argued the case about not having up to date services, particularly the ability to share information and access files from different locations.
There is concern that Microsoft landing the lucrative cloud computing contract may now mean that they are overall frontrunners for any later contracts that are likely to be put out to tender. Large organizations such as IBM and Oracle had previously competed for the cloud computing contract to no avail.
In a book released at the end of October, navy commander Guy Snodgrass intimated President Trump was anti-Amazon because Bezos owns the Washington Post and had told then Defense Secretary Jim Mattis not to award the contract to the web and retail conglomerate. Mattis has denied this.