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Photo: VCG/VCG via Getty Images

The Pentagon is behind schedule in its effort to award a multi-billion dollar cloud computing contract over a lack of clarity in its request for proposals, and it's come under fire from industry stakeholders for appearing to favor one company on the way.

Why it matters: The Office of Management and Budget released a proposal Monday that's intended to help agencies acquire cloud computing services faster, and to better-align procurement practices with industry standards. It's the first update to the strategy in seven years.

  • It's about speed. "What we intend is to move faster" with this strategy, OMB's Chief Information Officer, Suzette Kent, told reporters Monday — some agencies have been slower than others to the uptake of cloud computing.
  • The big picture: The tensions over the Pentagon's request for proposals and the goals outlined in today's proposal highlight the mismatch in expectations between the private sector and the government when it comes to technology procurement.

Goals:

  • To tailor procurement practices to agency needs: The strategy is intended to shift away from a "one size fits all" approach to adopting cloud technology, and instead focus on how each agency has different missions and needs that need to be reflected in contracting, Kent said.
  • To keep up with industry best practices for cloud, per Kent. This is key since recently the Pentagon has been criticized for appearing to skirt around the best practice of using a multi-cloud environment. Oracle has even formally challenged the Pentagon's process.
  • To shift the government's security focus from physical security to cybersecurity as agencies move away from focusing on physical data centers to the cloud.
  • To modernize the workforce. The government will be reducing its reliance on hardware management and will instead need to hire and re-skill with programming skills in mind.

Reality check: This is just the kickoff to a longer process, and agencies and the private sector alike will absolutely take longer than 18 months to catch up with these goals.

Go deeper

32 mins ago - Sports

Robot umpires inch closer to calling MLB games

The Automated Ball-Strike system (ABS), the tech powering what's colloquially known as robo-umps, is inching ever closer to the big leagues.

Driving the news: The independent Atlantic League — which has partnered with MLB since 2019 — last week announced it was doing away with robo-umps after testing them for the past season-and-a-half.

FBI conducts "court-authorized" search of Rep. Henry Cuellar's home

Rep. Henry Cuellar. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

The FBI said it conducted a "court-authorized" search on Wednesday in the area of the Texas home of Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas).

State of play: "The FBI was present in the vicinity of Windridge Drive and Estate Drive in Laredo conducting court-authorized law enforcement activity," an FBI spokesperson told Axios, adding that they "cannot provide further comment on an ongoing investigation."

Big Tech lobbies hard against looming antitrust bill

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Big Tech CEOs, including Apple's Tim Cook and Google's Sundar Pichai, have been jawboning lawmakers as a Senate committee takes up a key antitrust bill Thursday.

Why it matters: The bill prompting this lobbying frenzy could upend how tech's giants do business, and tech's critics see this as a "now or never" moment for Congress to check the industry's power.