CMS datacenter contracts award $15 billion to reduce IT spending

A billion here, a billion there...

While the push in government datacenters is for consolidation and limited spending, some departments are going at it in very different ways. Last week the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare services, the organization responsible for all of that paperwork that gets the two services to approve and pay for medical care, awarded a contract to eight vendors that could cost up to $15,000,000,000 over the next 10 years.

These contracts are indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contracts for one year, with 9 option years. And the contracts are in addition to more than 80 datacenters that are currently operated by the CMS.  There is a definite need for CMS t find a way to consolidate the more than 80 datacenter they currently operate. With the responsibility for more than 400 terabytes of data, this is no simple task. Hence this Virtual Datacenter contract, with a goal of cutting the number of datacenters by 90%  and reducing their overall datacenter spending with the savings in facilities, energy, and operations that the consolidation represents.

The eight contract winning vendors; Accenture Federal Services, Buccaneer, Companion Data Services, CGI Federal, HP Enterprise Services, IBM US Federal,; Lockheed Martin, and National Government Services, will be tasked with transitioning the current set of datacenters and services from the current large number of facilities operated by the Federal government to a smaller, leaner operation that utilizes cloud services and is owned and operated by the contractors. The contract has a standard set of services that applies across the board and will allow the client department to have a consistent model for all vendors. Of course, in addition to the standard data security issues that would apply to any government project, this data also will all almost entirely fall under such regulations as HIPAA, which will add another level of complexity to the services being provided.

This also means that rather than a larger number of vendors operating under different sets of rules for their facilities and services, the goal is to maintain a single set of standards across all operations for the new virtualized infrastructure. With the huge amounts of data being generated every day by Medicaid and Medicare, this may ba seriously difficult task for the vendors who have won this contract’s bid.