The Army will create an enterprise cloud management office before the end of the year, the service’s top IT official said at the Association of the U.S. Army conference Oct. 15.

The office will offer “centralized oversight of capability that exists in the cloud," provide incentives for Army components to move to the cloud and help them migrate to the cloud, Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, the Army’s chief information officer/G6 said in an interview with C4ISRNET Oct. 16. With the establishment of the office, the Army also wants to prevent different service entities from buying additional product licenses that the Army has already purchased.

“Think of the enterprise cloud management office as that central touch point for the Army where app owners can go to gain knowledge about the process of migrating,” Crawford said. “And more importantly, what the big Army has already paid for in terms of capabilities like ... managed services to move you and common shared services once you’re in the cloud.”

The office has been operating provisionally in the last few months, but will be officially established in late November or early December, said Crawford.

Within the Pentagon and at the Defense Information Systems Agency, other cloud management offices already exist. But Crawford said that the Army’s cloud management office will provide Army users with more information about what capabilities the service specifically owns, information that the other offices outside the Army can’t provide.

“If you don’t have a centralized location to go, you’re now dealing with the DISA program management office and what you don’t know is [that] in ... DISA MilCloud 2.0 we’ve already got some enterprise resourcing in place,” Crawford said. “So when you move to MilCloud 2.0, don’t pay for this because we’ve already got it.”

Crawford said the formal creation date won’t happen until after an announcement of the office’s leader — who has already been selected.

“We’ve already have targeted someone with a lot of industry experience and inside the government, [including] work in the services," Crawford told C4ISRNET.

The office is already working on identifying priorities and helping the data and application owners in the field start working with the new team.

The office will need to hire contracting talent with experience writing artificial intelligence, machine learning and cloud contracts, he said, as a way to help “build capacity” among its contracting talent and to move away from scattered contracting talent across the force.

Andrew Eversden covers all things defense technology for C4ISRNET. He previously reported on federal IT and cybersecurity for Federal Times and Fifth Domain, and worked as a congressional reporting fellow for the Texas Tribune. He was also a Washington intern for the Durango Herald. Andrew is a graduate of American University.

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