DoD Cloud Considerations and Vendor Ossification
It goes without saying, when something looks or sounds too good to be true, it generally is. That’s what’s happening right now with an artificial campaign that is being circulated. The origination is popular cloud services like AWS, Azure, and several other well-known ones. The problem is, things aren’t going to be as good as the way they are making them sound.
Not a Smooth Transition
The campaign is claiming that the transition from the other clouds into the newer ones that meet the DoD guidelines set forth already is going to be easy. Stakeholders that are looking at the information that is being presented are essentially blinded by what they are being told. The third parties that are persisting in the marketing are making it even more attractive. The truth is, the process is not going to be as smooth as what they are making it sound.
In all reality, even though they are making it sound cheaper, easier to use, and an all-around fantastic idea, it’s not. The whole thing is going to be extraordinarily complex, and it’s not really all that cheap. In the beginning stages it might seem that way, but after the changes are made, there is no evidence that it is going to be able to offer what they are claiming.
Once a Problem, Always a Problem
The FCW has been recorded saying, “A crappy application now will be a crappy application in production.” That means that what they have right now isn’t all that great. When the work starts, and production is flowing, it’s not going to get any better. It’s like putting a band-aid on a broken bone. They aren’t taking care of the underlying problems.
A Sales Tactic
There is nowhere on the internet or in any research book that you can find a cloud for federal use. You can change up the wording and keywords as much as you want, and it’s just not out there. The large vendors are using the idea as a sales tactic, and the problem is, the DoD is listening to them. With all the hype, there is an excitement surrounding the plan that is almost too big to turn around at this point. The bigger businesses are just seeing dollar signs at the licensing done on a subscription-based model.
If you look at it from the outside, it’s really a sneak attack on the DoD, and it’s working. The information that is being presented is well written and persuasive, and that’s a big issue. By starting with cloud computing from a federal standpoint, small business IT is going to crumble into dust.
There is speculation that those involved in the DoD haven’t considered this when talking about making the switch. Another issue is that they aren’t adequately considering all the costs that are going to come along with it. There were studies done in the past when it was proven that the costs of doing HR work were wholly left out of or “forgotten” when computing a budget.
The people at SRA and IBM know how that went and they are standing by eager to take advantage of the type of thinking done in that aspect. The small businesses are angry because they can’t seem to get through and have their voices heard on any of the apparent problems with the cloud that they seem to be turning a blind eye too.
It’s Not Better
As mentioned, it seems like a better idea right now, but after the implementation, what are the side effects going to be? The DoD could essentially lose control of their own information. Who is going to control what is stored there if they can’t? Is there going to be any competition in the market in the foreseeable future for modernization, or is it going to be cornered entirely?
A Commercial Cloud
In all reality, the cloud is commercial and not even set up to run for federal models. It’s all logistics and advertising. Anyone that is capable of meeting the requirements in place can build up data centers. There is an extreme risk for cybersecurity issues. The CIOs that are tired of worrying about the dangers are looking at the cloud as a way to no longer be held responsible for what happens. Paperwork and audits can be outsourced, and they can wash their hands of the whole thing.
The DISA MilCloud2
The DISA MilCloud2 has been specially designed to secure all of the DoD’s applications. It has the capabilities of driving the development, deployment, and maintenance of everything stored there securely and efficiently. It still offers the same services as commercial cloud services, and it’s where the DoD should be saving their information instead of the commercial one that is being hyped up right now.
JEDI in Review
A 10-year, $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) is in a review by the DoD CIO. The highly-secured platform has claimed that they will be able to provide all the services necessary for the Pentagon’s priorities including Platform as a Service (Paas) along with Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) for all the military branches and defense agencies. The question is, it going to be fair? Some think that it will be unfair to award such a big contract to just one commercial cloud contract. Another topic of discussion is whether or not it will be compatible with the IBM Watson software currently being used for other governmental security purposes.
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