WASHINGTON — The Pentagon’s top IT official said Wednesday that his office has spent the last few months preparing the armed services to migrate to the department’s long-delayed enterprise cloud as soon as it becomes available.

“We’re doing a lot of work with the services on getting them prepared to move their [software] development processes and cycles to DevOps so when the [Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure] cloud finally does get awarded, we’re not starting at Day One,” Dana Deasy, Pentagon chief information officer, said during a Defense Writers Group roundtable.

The JEDI cloud contract was originally awarded to Microsoft over Amazon Web Services 11 months ago, and then was halted by a federal judge in February. Though the court case remains unresolved, Deasy said the services must now identify tools, integration environments and directories that need set up to connect users into the cloud when it’s available.

Despite the judge’s decision, “that’s all work that we can do because it sits inside our ownership all ready,” Deasy said.

While the Department of Defense has faced criticism for its single-award structure, particularly as cloud technologies have advanced during the yearslong delay, Deasy insisted the JEDI cloud still fills a critical capability gap the department needs to deliver to the war fighter: data at the tactical edge and DevOps.

The JEDI cloud is the platform the department still envisions for those needs and is an important piece of the Joint All-Domain Command and Control concept, an initiative through which the services want to connect sensors and shooters. Deasy said the DoD has solutions in place to form that connection, but still needs “that tactical cloud out at the tactical edge.”

The DoD wants the JEDI cloud to consolidate data for use by the warfighter at the tactical edge.

“JADC2 is going to point out, time and time again, about the need of being able to swiftly bring data together. And guess what? That data is going to be of different classifications, and bringing that together in a cross-domain way in a very quick-to-need [way] is something that is still a need we have across the Department of Defense that JEDI was specifically designed to solve for,” Deasy said.

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