The Army’s new “as a service” approach for modernizing its enterprise information technology will start with contracts to four vendors by August to begin implementing new tools at select installations in 2019 before scaling out prototypes to bases around the country over the next three years.

Officials released a draft statement of objectives

Wednesday for the Army’s “Enterprise IT as a Service” (EITaaS) effort to address its lagging approach to modernization with a new focus on bringing in vendor-owned and operated IT, with plans to eventually award six total OTAs for pilot programs at installations across the country.

1st Lt. John R. Rogers, 642nd Regional Support Group, takes part in virtual convoy training on Feb. 24, 2018, at his unit’s headquarters in Decatur, Ga. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Gary A. Witte)

“Today, the Army owns and operates its entire information technology and long-distance communications. This current own/operate model produces slow rates of changes and technology adoption that diverges from similar commercial offerings,” officials wrote in the notice. “The pilot focus is on the end users’ and installation organizations’ mission needs, with outcomes that improve IT availability, security, resiliency, security, and affordability while improving the end users’ experience.”

Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford previously said EITaaS would begin with a pilot project at the Futures Command headquarters in Austin, Texas (Defense Daily, April 4).

The new document confirms plans to also start with projects this year at Ft. Polk in Louisiana and Ft. Benning in Georgia.

The initial four vendors will each receive three-year deals to start work at a single location in FY ’19 before scaling up their capabilities at two more installations over the next couple years.

Two subsequent contracts will be awarded, bringing the total to six, with the Army set to determine locations in FY ’20.

EITaaS is intended to move the Army’s approach to enterprise IT away from service-owned and operated technology that officials said “sub-optimizes Army operational readiness.”

Contractors on the program are expected to offer solutions ranging from data transport capabilities, end-user devices and cloud services.

The program is focused around three lines of effort: Network as a Service, End User Services, and Compute and Store capabilities, according to officials.