Public sector struggles with tech’s shift from wallet to will manifest in JEDI RFP woes

Any follower of technology knows it has been radically transforming private enterprise and social interactions, as outlined in a TBR special report on a concept we call the “Business of One.” A more aggressive piece on the impending Digital Dust Bowl discussed the increased polarization of public policy triggered in part by technology. In investigating the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DOD) Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) request for proposals (RFP) TBR analysts spoke to a number of representatives from technology suppliers that service the public sector who could not discern the value of a single-source cloud contract with a potential 10-year term when early adopters in private enterprise have moved beyond that concept into a multi-cloud environment. Furthermore, a fixed term of a decade for leading-edge technology adds to, rather than mitigates, risk based on the increased rate and pace of change. In short, TBR believes the DOD’s decision to delay the JEDI RFP is an encouraging, rather than discouraging, sign, as it speaks to the importance of consensus building in a post-Moore’s Law world.



JEDI is the force leading AWS’ charge into the U.S. Department of Defense

Central governments, even more than the largest commercial enterprises, struggle to keep pace with the current rate of technological change. Many times, major decisions do not occur proactively, but rather are made in response to gaps in capabilities that become matters of national security. The U.S. Department of Defense’s (DOD) Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract indicates the DOD finds itself in that very position, spurred by a need to address technology gaps resulting from a decades-long lapse in investment that started with the end of the Cold War. Since that time, near-peer rivals such as Russia and China have developed advanced capabilities in anti-access/area denial electronic warfare, state-sponsored cyber, and other technologies that make space and cyberspace contested warfare domains, eroding the U.S.’ traditional advantages in unassailable power projection on a global scale and increasing its vulnerability.