U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Thomas Wheeler ruled Monday that Amazon Web Services had legitimately won their $600 million cloud contract with the CIA. The news comes as a blow to rival IBM, who had contested the original contract with the Government’s General Accounting Office.
IBM has announced they will appeal the ruling, according to TechCrunch, and has issued a statement touting the lower price of their competing bid. They also mentioned their previous government experience, an area Amazon is currently lacking. The cloud contract itself, besides the high price tag such a large, private infrastructure will command, is seen by Amazon as a way into the world of government contracting. Amazon has so far found it difficult to compete with companies such as IBM, whose work is more well known in government circles, making the CIA cloud an important entry point into the market.
While the appeal process may result in an overturn, it seems likely AWS will keep the contract. Factors contributing to the CIA’s original choice of Amazon over IBM included greater elasticity and auto-scale capabilities.