Cloud service providers are investing in the development of technology platforms that could help the Department of Defense meet the needs of warfighters operating in tactical, distributed environments, C4ISRNET reported Wednesday.
“We have to create devices that can operate in those austere environments,” said Rick Wagner, president of Microsoft Federal for government customers and a 2021 Wash100 Award recipient. “Some of that goes with custom design. This is clearly obviously not simply pulling something off the shelf that’s been developed, so it’s driving us into doing more work in … creating our own devices, optimizing them to work in those environments and work with our cloud.”
Wagner said Microsoft is working to meet DOD’s joint warfighting needs by developing ways to field cloud capabilities into disconnected environments and allowing the department to move data between unclassified and classified environments.
“How can we get to the point where we get pieces of the cloud everywhere the DoD is operating and then you can start tying things together?” Wagner asked. “At Microsoft, that is one of the things we are trying to optimize for … how we do compute at the edge, where the data sits, reduce the amount of time you’ve got to move data back and forth and to be able and operate with it?”
IBM also sees a demand for cloud capabilities that will enable users to access data at different security classification levels.
“We’re seeing more much interest in more mobile environments [including] more distributed, mobile environments that can operate at multiple [classification] levels,” said Terry Halvorsen, general manager for public sector client development at IBM, former DOD chief information officer and a previous Wash100 Award winner.
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