USDA plots departmentwide cloud move with STRATUS contract

USDA intends to use the procurement to source hyperscale cloud infrastructure services, as well as integration and development services and software-as-a-service.
USDA's Jamie L. Whitten building. (Tajha Chappellet-Lanier)

The Department of Agriculture is considering a new centralized procurement to drive cloud adoption across the department.

USDA issued a presolicitation notice Tuesday giving commercial vendors a preview into a new cloud basic ordering agreement it calls STRATUS.

Through STRATUS, USDA hopes to source hyperscale cloud infrastructure services, as well as integration and development services and software-as-a-service, featuring individual pools of contractors for each of the three categories.

“The intent is to create efficiencies across USDA IT operations, allowing customer Associate and Assistant Chief Information Officers (CIOs) to focus on mission business application deployments and sustainment, while using [Digital Infrastructure Services Center] services supported by the STRATUS BOAs to reduce costs, better allocate resources, and continuously improve and evolve USDA’s IT enterprise to keep pace with technology and business model advancements,” the procurement announcement explains.


USDA’s  Digital Infrastructure Services Center already offers what the department calls a consolidated “easy button” for cloud infrastructure service adoption and looks to expand this under a potential STRATUS contract.

With the acquisition, USDA hopes to expand its portfolio of “complex solutions from design/architecture to implementation and support,” increase the speed at which it can deliver competitive pricing and rapid implementation of cloud services for its internal customers, provide enhances cloud brokerage services, and “[i]dentify approved sources of supply for commercial cloud landing zones, enterprise SaaS and data, geospatial, and security management services.”

While the department doesn’t yet prescribe what the STRATUS acquisition will look like, it does suggest it could run “the next ten years and beyond” to provide “malleable contracts that can evolve with maturation of governance, evolution of technology, and vendor dynamics.”

For the pool specifically devoted to SaaS offerings, USDA issued a request for information asking potential partners for feedback on what the contracting process could look like for that portion of the acquisition. Responses for that are due by May 4.

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