IBM concedes to Amazon in $600m CIA cloud contract
In what appears to be the end of a longstanding battle to build a large private cloud for the US intelligence community, IBM has stepped back from continuing its protest of AWS for being awarded the $600m contract, according to media reports.
The CIA has been in the process of trying to set up a massive private cloud estate to serve the intelligence community for several years now. But the past ten months have seen that plan stall amidst a legal battle between AWS and IBM, which were the two leading bidders on the project.
Earlier this month the US Court of Federal Claims overturned a ruling by the Government Accountability Office after it sustained a bid protest raised by IBM, which claimed the CIA’s procurement methods unfairly benefited AWS.
Business Cloud News reached out to both companies and will update the story once we hear back, but according to government tech mag FCW, an IBM spokesperson said: “In light of the government’s recent submissions emphasizing its need to move forward on the contract, IBM has withdrawn its motion.” The move came weeks after Justice Department attorneys warned against stalling the project further, claiming the lack of progress on this project could harm US intelligence efforts.
The move seems to suggest a reversal for IBM, which originally suggested to BCN that it was planning to appeal the US Court of Federal Claims ruling, handed down earlier this month.
The news is a big win for Amazon – which has been busy bolstering its GovCloud to the federal public sector over the past year. Of course, none of this will stop IBM from trying to sway customers towards its cloud solutions. Despite falling IT spending across the US federal public service IBM is fairly well entrenched in the public sector, whereas Amazon is a relatively new player. The tech giant also recently set up a Washington, D.C.-based cloud computing innovation centre, cozying up to the US federal government as its ‘cloud first’ policy starts to gain traction.