Observations on Defense Agency Cloud Investment in FY 2019

Posted by Alexander Rossino on May 1, 2018

Part 3 of a 4 part series on Defense cloud computing in FY 2019.

Every Spring, Deltek’s Federal Market Analysis team takes a thorough look at the Department of Defense’s Procurement and Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation budget requests for the fiscal year to come. Using a set of keywords, FMA identifies programs that invest in certain technologies of importance to the contractor community. These technology “verticals” include cloud computing, big data analytics, cybersecurity/weaponry, and others. FMA’s analysis of the DOD’s fiscal 2019 budget request is now complete, revealing that Defense Agencies intend to spend $535M on programs which use cloud technology in one way or another.

Identifying the specific cloud spend in each program is impossible due to the vague way that the DOD reports budget request data. Readers should keep in mind, therefore, that the numbers presented here are the requested budgets for programs that plan to use cloud technology for a specific purpose (e.g., storage, testing, or delivering a capability, etc.). The numbers presented here should not be considered the DOD’s entire cloud budget for FY 2019. They are best thought of as a signpost indicating how and where Defense Agency program offices intend to use cloud and the potential amounts they could spend on it.

Budget Overview by Agency

The table below lists Defense Agencies by total budgets for programs with a cloud component that FMA could identify. The totals shown are from the Procurement and RDT&E budget requests. That the Defense Information Systems Agency comes out on top should be no surprise at this point given the agency’s well-known role fostering cloud technology use at DOD. More interesting, is the presence of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, which is taking a greater interest in using cloud for R&D. Some of the largest programs are discussed below.

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Summaries of Top 5 Largest Programs by Budget

  • Technology Innovation (OSD) ($83M for RDT&E): FY 2019 funding focuses on the Core Datahub pilot, an effort that matures and demonstrates the automated processing of space-based Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR), Artificial Intelligence-driven Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT), and Fix-Find-Finish-Exploit-Assess (F3EA) into an integrated capability. The program uses the Intelligence Community’s secure Commercial Cloud Services (C2S), provided by Amazon Web Services, for testing and development of new capabilities.
  • C4I Interoperability Major Range Test Facility Base Improvements and Operations (DISA) ($55M for RDT&E): This Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) program at DISA operates the IT testing infrastructure standardized test bed at Fort Meade, MD and Fort Huachuca, AZ. JITC intends to expand the use of cloud technologies in FY 2019 to provide seamless distributed testing services, especially for cyber capabilities.
  • Trusted and Assured Microelectronics New Trust Approach Demonstration (OSD) ($54.2M for RDT&E): FY 2019 funding supports activities in the Commercial off the shelf (COTS) programmable integrated circuit co-development technical focus area, including a pilot program to secure design capabilities using commercially-available cloud-based services.
  • Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) ($52M for RDT&E): A primary testing center for the DOD, FY 2019 funding enables the DTIC to align its operations with DOD’s cloud efforts, including the migration of DTIC’s public infrastructure to commercial cloud environments. By FY 2019, DTIC will have an approved Authority To Operate (ATO) with a continuously monitored Risk Management Framework (RMF) for its cloud-based IT infrastructure. This will strengthen its cyber security posture. DTIC will also implement cloud-based identity management system enhancements and actionable user metrics. It will complete the establishment of well-defined processes and procedures for operating in cloud environments as well as establish contracts and service level agreements with selected cloud service providers.
  • Global Command and Control System-Joint (GCCS-J) (DISA) ($43M for RDT&E): An ongoing project to modernize DOD’s enterprise command and control system, funding in FY 2019 will continue the engineering of GCCS-J into a cloud-based system. This is a mission critical capability.

Concluding Thought

Much like training is the central use case of Army’s FY 2019 RDT&E and Procurement investments with a cloud component, testing is a primary use case for cloud-related efforts at DISA, DTIC, and OSD. Using cloud platforms to centralize data collection and enhance analysis of data for mission critical uses are also big efforts. The handful of programs reviewed here demonstrate the breadth of potential cloud use cases across the DOD, suggesting that even if a single contract is awarded for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure there should still be plenty of cloud-related work to go around.

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