Planned FY 2018 Army Technology Investments - Part 3 Cloud Computing
Published: August 08, 2017
Part three of a four part analysis of Army’s planned FY 2018 investments in big data, cloud, and cyber security.
This week’s post provides part three in my running overview of the Procurement and Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E) dollars that the U.S. Army intends to invest in various technology projects in fiscal Year 2018. This week takes a look at projected spending on cloud computing. Those interested in the recent companion post on Army's technology overview click here.
As a reminder, I conducted this analysis of the Army’s FY 2018 Procurement and RDT&E budget documentation using keywords and terms related to cloud computing, including various forms of the “as-a-Service” (aaS) abbreviation. Limitations in the available data did not always allow me to isolate cloud programs, so the numbers here also reflect projected spending on programs that have cloud requirements as a significant part of a larger effort.
FY 2016-2018 Overview
The chart below provides an overview of the combined Procurement and RDT&E spending that Army is requesting for programs with a cloud-related requirement in FY 2018.
Identifiable cloud-related Army Procurement funding in FY 2018 is a mere $4M, with all of that dedicated to the Persistent Cyber Training Environment. Fortunately, Procurement funding makes up only 4.8% of the $82M that the Army projects it will spend on cloud-related requirements in FY 2018. As for cloud-related RDT&E funding, the Army anticipates this will grow by 13% from FY 2017 to FY 2018. The dearth of identifiable Army Procurement dollars related to cloud projects is curious given the investments that Deltek has identified in recent years and the Army’s moves to put cloud contract vehicles like ACCENT into place. For example, the latest data based on contracts that are verified cloud investments show that the Army spent $82M on cloud in FY 2016. Clearly, the data in Army’s Procurement budget does not reveal cloud investments in as much detail as we would prefer.
Moving now to the program details, the table below lists all of the Army programs with a cloud-related requirement identified in the data.
The first observation that becomes clear from this data is the convergence of cyber and cloud. At $34M in projected FY 2018 Procurement funding, support for the Cyberspace Operations Forces and Force Support is the Army’s number one priority. The Army will also invest $4.5M in Defensive Cyber Tool Development.
Most of the cloud-related funding in the Cyberspace Operations Forces and Force Support program is for the Persistent Cyber Training Environment, which is slated to become the DoD’s primary training tool for its Cyber Mission forces. As for the Defensive Cyber Tools Development program, the cloud-related portion of this work is for Defensive Cyberspace Operations – Infrastructure (DCO-I) Engineering Design, Development, and Software Maintenance. The DCO-I is a standardized cloud infrastructure and funding for it will include software deployment and platform construction “for three primary environmental configurations (garrison, deployable and tactical). Additionally, providing advanced hypervisor, cloud deployment, security and integration and development.”
Finally, it is worth pointing out that at least five programs on the list above are for cloud-based modeling and simulation work. The convergence of cloud and M&S is something we are seeing all over the DoD.