Amazon Web Services has won the large CIA deal, and IBM is having a hissy fit. IBM, is still in the running, after the company’s protest at the choice of AWS.
Protests are common after government contract awards, if the other bidders in the process suspect that the award was in error, or if all the facts were not considered. IBM is exercising this power here, and Amazon will have to fight to keep their agreement with the CIA for their large cloud systems.
The CIA, of course, disagrees with the protest. They responded with the following statement:
“Providing true cloud computing services to the intelligence community requires a transformative approach with superior technology. The CIA selected AWS based on its superior technological platform which will allow the Agency to rapidly innovate while delivering the confidence and security assurance needed for mission-critical systems. The Agency conducted a very detailed, thorough procurement that took many months to award. We look forward to a fast resolution of the two issues raised by the GAO so the Agency can move forward with this important contract.”
IBM is understandably concerned, considering their dominance in the US government sector, and the fact that AWS is stepping on their toes. Indeed, this could be the motivation behind IBM’s SoftLayer acquisition announced last week. However, I suspect this is an emerging pattern that IBM won’t be able to reverse.