Written by Billy Mitchell
The State Department plans to have places on its largest IT service contract ever by the end of the third quarter of fiscal year 2022, officials from the ministry said on Monday.
During an industry virtual day for the upcoming $ 8 billion cap EVOLVE IT contract, state IT acquisition officials said they hope to have a pool for general IT management services in the second quarter of fiscal 2022 and the remaining four Under the agreement, pools – network services, cloud and data services, applications and development, and customer and end-user support services – can be awarded until the end of the following quarter.
The new contract includes the IT services provided under the state’s expiring Vanguard 2.2.1 contract, as well as other future requirements that were not covered under this earlier contract. SAIC won the Vanguard 2.2.1 for $ 2.5 billion in 2010.
The state will give up to six spots in each of those five pools, officials said during the industry day.
But that’s just the beginning, explained CIO Keith Jones. From there, “if necessary, we will continuously coordinate, assign and award assignments to the scope covered by EVOLVE,” he said, emphasizing the importance of flexibility in the services procured under the contract.
“IRM’s main strategies are to promote innovative, effective and connected diplomacy through the constant improvement, modernization and refreshment of tools and services,” said Jones. “EVOLVE will enable IRM to continuously adapt to new technical possibilities and to support the department’s new technological, customer-oriented and modernization goals. EVOLVE will provide IT solutions to achieve the department’s current and future strategic goals. “
Repeating, “This is the business we’re all in,” Jones said, describing the constant shift in technology, he pointed out the need to rethink the department’s IT strategy in the near future for this reason.
“Since the last time we came up with a strategic plan, we’ve had [the SolarWinds hacking campaign]”We had supply chain issues, we had new … executive orders on cybersecurity and, more recently, customer service,” he said. “I would like to share my conviction that we were in similar difficult circumstances before. And precisely during my reign we were faced with a number of important technological changes that have dramatically changed the way we operate technology … And at every opportunity the IT community reacts and adapts to changes. “
Jones added that due to disruptions in the technology world, “policies and practices will have to change during the course of this contract, hence our greatest interest in a flexible IT approach to sourcing and true partnerships.”
While EVOLVE was designed primarily to meet the needs of the Department of State’s Bureau of Information Resource Management, it is hoped that it will “be used by all technology support organizations across the department” to provide shared services rather than custom or “boutique” services. – Procure services. said Jones.
Cybersecurity will be another key issue in the EVOLVE contract. There is no specific pool for cybersecurity services as the state intends to have contractors provide IT services with cybersecurity built in.
“The State Department is a major cyberattack point,” said Glenn Miller, deputy CIO for the state. “Last year we saw 13 million virus blocks, 207 million emails blocked, 700 million security events, and 3 billion blocks on the firewall. So I want to emphasize that cyber must be an integral part of every solution and daily operation. “
Al Bowden, Assistant CIO, Information Security, said, “The expectation of the state and our desire and challenge is how we properly and accurately integrate cyber into all of the various development pools?” Bowden said that although the pools may not explicitly cyber-related, “think about security … and how you would run and implement in those discreet pools of cyber concern with a pad and undertone of cyber threats”.
The state published the draft call for proposals for the EVOLVE contract late last week. A final call for tenders is now to take place by the end of the calendar year.