IBM announced this week that it has won a cloud deal with the U.S. Army worth up to $62 million over five years.
According to IBM, the cloud solution is part of the ArmyPrivate Cloud Enterprise (APCE) program, a one-year task order with four additional one-year options under the Army Private Cloud 2 (APC2).
As part of the project, the Army will be migrating applications to the private cloud, moving up to 35 applications to the private cloud in the first year, IBM said.
“With this project, we’re beginning to bring the IT infrastructure of the U.S. Army into the 21st century,” Lt. Gen. Robert Ferrell, U.S. Army CIO said in a statement. “Cloud computing is a game-changing architecture that provides improved performance with high efficiency, all in a secure environment.”
In an article in June, the Army said that cloud computing not only helps it become more resilient to cyber attacks, but also saves on software licensing costs through centralized delivery.
"Changing mindset is not an easy endeavor for an enterprise as large as the Army," Col. John E. Rozsnyai writes. "It's hard work convincing organizations and agencies that own and operate their own systems and applications to accept that someone else can provide the same or better level of service at a reduced cost."
IBM said that it is the only company to be authorized by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Impact Level 5 (IL-5) Provisional Authorization. IL-5 gives the cloud provider the authority to manage controlled, unclassified information. IBM is one of the only companies to be authorized by DISA at IL-5 to run IaaS solutions on government premises; Microsoft has achieved a DoD Impact Level 5 Provisional Authorization from DISA.
In the next year, IBM expects to achieve DISA IL-6, the agency’s highest level, which will allow it to work with classified information up to “secret.”
“Clients today are increasingly looking at the cloud as a pathway to innovation,” Sam Gordy, general manager, IBM U.S. Federal said. “This IBM Cloud solution will provide the Army with greater flexibility and will go a long way toward mitigating, and, in some cases eliminating, the security challenges inherent with multiple ingress and egress points.”
This article has been updated to reflect the fact that IBM is not the only company with the DISA IL-5 designation.