Google Withdraws Bid for Pentagon Cloud Contract

Google Pentagon Cloud

This year has been a busy year for top cloud infrastructure providers. But, it doesn’t directly relate to the technology itself. The Pentagon has these providers competing for a $10 billion, ten-year contract. They named the contract the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, also known as JEDI for short.

Now, this contract may seem ordinary, but it holds an opportunity for a smaller provider to make a leap. For example, it could help IBM or Azure catch up to AWS. It might have the potential to change the cloud marketplace, at least for future government contracts.

The deadline for submission approaches and most competitors have bolstered their offerings. However, a notable exception has been Google.

What happened to Google

Although Google needs a boost in the cloud marketplace, they decided to withdraw their bid last month. Some have been pointing to artificial intelligence ethics, but the reason might not be so simple.

Just last week, IBM acquired Red Hat for $34 billion to bolster their hybrid cloud capabilities. Both companies already have experience working with Linux, Kubernetes, cloud management, automation, and more. The Pentagon expresses interest in multi-cloud, so this acquisition could provide an ideal fit.

Even Azure bolstered their tools for government technology last month:

“We are going through a technology transformation that is unlocking new mission scenarios for government agencies that were simply not possible before. Smart sensors and connected devices are changing the way agencies approach problems from equipment maintenance to measuring air quality, smart cities to military outposts, while new devices are increasingly cloud-connected by default – whether it’s a traffic light or a rescue vehicle.”

Two of Google’s competitors have made strides towards securing this contract. Google Cloud Platform currently holds third place (behind AWS and Azure) in the cloud infrastructure market share, so a boost in market share would be welcomed.

Perhaps Google knew of these moves ahead of time and didn’t feel they had the capabilities necessary. Maybe it is because of the ethics issues, maybe we won’t ever know.

Now, this shouldn’t deter anyone from using Google Cloud Platform. Google has been making a lot of progress in their enterprise cloud offerings. More managed service providers offer services for them than ever.