Home Cloud The C2E Contract: Is CIA updating its cloud technology stack?

The C2E Contract: Is CIA updating its cloud technology stack?


If you are looking for a straight answer to the question in the title, then YES.

According to multiple reports, the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) is ready to update its cloud tech stack and, in fact, has begun a multi-billion-dollar procurement process

As per the reports published on Nextgov, the CIA released a draft request for Commercial Cloud Enterprise or C2E contract. In 2013, the CIA – on behalf of all the 17 agencies constituting the intelligence community – awarded Amazon Web Services a cloud contract worth $600 million. The current proposed C2E deal is estimated to be worth “tens of billions” of dollars, as per the documents released in April 2019

The C2E contract will differ from another high-profile contract – Pentagon’s JEDI contract – in many ways. One thing that the CIA is definitely looking to do differently from the JEDI deal is avoiding “controversy” at any cost. 

What is the CIA’s C2E contract? 

The Central Intelligence Agency‘s (CIA) Commercial Cloud Enterprise (C2E) contract is a follow-up on Commercial Cloud Services (C2S) contract. 

The main objective of C2E

The principal C2E Program objective is to acquire cloud computing services directly from commercial cloud service providers with established records for innovation and operational excellence in cloud service delivery for a large customer base.

Since the Industry Day held in March 2019, there are several changes to the vision and the contract requirements.

CMI‘s Cloud Evangelists, after research and digging a little deeper, have compiled all the rumored changes and updates in the C2E contract collected from various sources (all the references are mentioned at the end).

  1. Bloomberg News reported the release of draft RFP on February 5.
  2. Unlike the JEDI contract, the C2E deal will allow multiple cloud providers to bid and win task orders. 
  3. The C2E contract will consist of two acquisitions, i.e., for “professional services and foundational services,” and “cloud integrator.” 
  4. For professional and foundational services acquisition, there will be a multi-award, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract. This will include IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. 
  5. CIA is also seeking a “cloud integrator” to provide “cloud integration support and tools for multi-cloud management” to support foundational cloud services. 
  6. C2E is planning to build services already established by C2S by “evolving to a multi-cloud ecosystem” for unclassified and top-secret networks. 
  7. The CIA will seek responses from industry through February 24
  8. If the current schedule holds, the CIA will release the announcement for bid submission in spring. 
  9. CIA will most likely complete the contract formalities by July 2021; whereas, Nextgov reports that the CIA will award the first of many contracts under C2E by September.
  10. As per the reports published by Bloomberg Government, the CIA is narrowing its C2E contract by dropping SaaS and PaaS from its scope.  

CIA is avoiding controversial drama like the JEDI deal

According to TechCrunch, the CIA spokesperson avoided any comments on the C2E contract. Multiple reports suggested that the CIA is trying to complete the procurement process with a low profile to avoid controversies leading to protests and unnecessary delay.

The digital transformation is supposed to equip the organizations with advanced technologies to accelerate innovation, improve reaction time not to slow down. The controversial JEDI contract impacted Pentagon’s DoD severely. The political agenda hinders the vision with such high-profile contracts. The JEDI deal took more than two years to put the awardee’s name on the contract. Still, the execution cannot be started as AWS filed another protest last month; and clearly mentioned the reason to be President Donald Trump’s public hostility with Amazon’s owner Jeff Bezos.

Let’s see what does this contract holds in the future. Will this have the same fate as the JEDI deal? Or Will this contract act as a stepping stone for other organizations to begin digital transformation initiatives?

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Referred Sources for information mentioned above: 

  1. Nextgov
  2. March 2019 Industry Day Presentation
  3. Intelligence Community’s Acquisition Research Center
  4. Bloomberg News
  5. Bloomberg Government 
Cloud Evangelist
Cloud Evangelist
Cloud Evangelists are CMI's in house ambassadors for the entire Cloud ecosystem. They are responsible for propagating the doctrine of cloud computing and help community members make informed decisions.


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