The IBM-Amazon battle over the CIA cloud rages on

cia headquarters

The big brouhaha brewing over who gets to build the CIA cloud will continue in a few weeks with oral arguments scheduled for October 7. Both Amazon Web Services and IBM want to claim that business. The arguments will take place at the U.S. Federal Court of Claims.

A quick recap: in March news leaked that the CIA had awarded the $600 million contract to Amazon Web Services over IBM, which actually came in at a lower price. IBM contested that award and in June, the Government Accountability Office held that the CIA should re-do the entire process. Amazon contested that decision and here we are.

The value of this particular contract far exceeds its $600 million value. Amazon clearly hopes to prove it can provide a cloud seen as safe-and-secure by the most stringent standards and IBM wants to build its overall cloud credibility.

In a statement, IBM cited IDC projections that the federal government will spend $9 billion on cloud over the next four years.

“It still is the early days for cloud in the federal government … Our view is, for mission critical workloads in the intelligence community, the federal government can’t rely on the same cloud computing model that hosts some of your favorite consumer applications delivered via the cloud like Netflix or Instagram.”

Whichever cloud provider gets the high-five from the CIA should find it easier to win more government work going forward.

Update: This story was updated at 11:56 a.m. PDT with IBM’s statement.

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