The US Department of Defense has recently announced that the $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract with Microsoft will be cancelled.
What is the JEDI contract?
The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract contains work orders to modernize the US Department of Defense’s aging computer infrastructure. This includes massive amounts of confidential data, artificial intelligence applications, and mission-critical tools that can only be handled by DoD Impact Level 6 vendors. Like many businesses, the DoD is seeking to modernize their services by migrating them to the cloud.
Multiple cloud platforms fiercely competed to secure this contract, finalizing with a head-to-head bidding war between Amazon and Microsoft. In late 2019 it was announced the JEDI contract would be awarded to Microsoft and Azure would be the primary platform for DoD legacy systems.
The DoD has announced “due to evolving requirements, increased cloud conversancy and industry advances, the JEDI Cloud contract no longer meets its needs.” John Sherman, the acting DoD Chief Information Officer has stated “JEDI was developed at a time when the department’s needs were different and both the CSPs technology and our cloud conversancy was less mature.”
In lieu of the JEDI contract, a new Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability (JWCC) contract will be created that adopts a multi-cloud/multi-vendor strategy. Cloud efforts will be shared between Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure since they are the only Cloud Service Providers that can meet the DoD’s demands.
Despite the bad news, Microsoft has announced that they support the DoD’s rationale and that the security of the United States is more important than a single contract.