The US Department of Defence (DoD) has cancelled its $10 billion (£7.2bn) cloud computing contract with Microsoft, pitting it back against Amazon for a renewed bidding war over the rights to develop the Pentagon’s long awaited cloud system.
The cancellation follows Amazon’s filing of a lawsuit against the decision to award the ‘Jedi’ contract to Microsoft in late 2019, a decision which it claims was improperly influenced by political pressure from then President Trump.
Since then, the DoD has now claimed that the contract no longer meets current needs due to a ‘shifting technology environment’ and will soon present the opportunity for rebidding on a new contract.
The Joint Enterprise Defence Infrastructure Cloud (Jedi), part of a broader modernisation of the Pentagon’s technological capabilities, was designed to replace aging computer networks with a single cloud system.
John Sherman, acting chief information officer for the DoD, has said he expects both Microsoft and Amazon will get cloud contracts in the long-term but that the current needs of the Pentagon are urgent.
Sherman said: “I’ve got to get this now – as soon as possible – starting hopefully as soon as April.
“This plan involves a multi-cloud procurement by a full and open competition perhaps as soon as early 2025. For the near term, however, we are confident that a direct award path is absolutely required and appropriate to enable us to bring urgently needed enterprise cloud capabilities to the force.”
The two tech giants have both issued statements highlighting their maintained stances on the controversial contract.