WASHINGTON — The Department of the Air Force is seeking industry feedback as it prepares a follow-up arrangement for its landmark Cloud One program.

The department, which includes the Air and Space forces, on Nov. 4 published a request for information for Cloud One Next, what it called C1N, asking companies how they “might approach managing and modernizing Cloud One” while factoring in “recent government leadership direction.”

Both the National Defense Strategy, made public in late October, and the Air Force chief information officer’s strategy for fiscal 2023-2028 were attached to the notice.

Key questions the request wants answered include what metrics organizations use to measure satisfaction while migrating and operating applications, what applications should not be moved to the cloud, and how organizations approach cybersecurity in a volatile setting, documents show.

Responses are due Dec. 5.

Cloud One is a cloud hosting and service platform that features assets from big-name players, including Amazon and Microsoft. The Air Force previously described it as a common development, testing and production environment that is stable, secure and resource efficient.

Science Applications International Corporation years ago began work on the Cloud One program — a deal worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The Virginia-based company at the time said it would transition approximately 800 Air Force and Army mission applications to the cloud.

The teasing of Cloud One Next comes as the Defense Department readies a potential $9 billion cloud computing contract known as the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability and as leaders advocate for greater uptake of digital ecosystems.

JWCC, as it’s known, is expected to be awarded in December, some eight months after its initial deadline. The arrangement is meant to beef up the Defense Department’s capabilities by bridging unclassified, secret and top-secret tranches while still reaching the military’s most remote edge. It’s also a crucial piece of Joint All-Domain Command and Control, the department’s vision of seamless information sharing and international coordination.

Officials last year contacted Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Oracle about JWCC, which is seen as the successor to the failed Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure venture.

The JWCC plan comprises a three-year base with one-year options. Competition for a future multi-cloud environment is expected to follow.

Colin Demarest was a reporter at C4ISRNET, where he covered military networks, cyber and IT. Colin had previously covered the Department of Energy and its National Nuclear Security Administration — namely Cold War cleanup and nuclear weapons development — for a daily newspaper in South Carolina. Colin is also an award-winning photographer.

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