Amazon and IBM wrestle for high-stakes CIA contract

As government entities expand into the cloud and require more related services, a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims sheds light on some of the issues involved, as two technology titans battle for a high-profile contract.

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As government entities expand into the cloud and require more related services, a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims sheds light on some of the issues involved, as two technology titans battle for a high-profile contract. The Washington Post reports that Amazon Web Services filed the lawsuit against the government, following a ruling against Amazon by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. The CIA had awarded Amazon with a $148.1 million cloud contract, over IBM’s $93.9 million bid, in part because the agency believed that IBM’s proposal would be riskier to pull off, the Post reported. IBM protested to the GAO, and the GAO ruled that the CIA should reopen the bidding competition. In its lawsuit, Amazon calls IBM a “traditional fixed IT infrastructure provider” and implies that IBM has fallen behind when it comes to commercial cloud technologies. Amazon is seeking to stop the competition from being reopened, according to the Washington Post story. As the article points out, government contractors have embraced cloud computing solutions ever since the first U.S. chief information officer, Vivek Kundra, said several years ago “that federal agencies should embrace ‘a cloud-first’ approach.” Here is the Washington Post article: Washington Post article

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