At the end of 2018, the Department of Homeland Security was in the process of transitioning or had already transitioned more than a quarter of its information technology application systems to the cloud and it is planning to expand its cloud presence this year and next.

“The take away is a broad-based, Component-led, DHS-wide adoption and move to the Cloud that is multi-year, robust, and well underway,” DHS says in a Request for Information posted on the government’s business opportunities website.

The purpose of the RFI is to let vendors know that DHS plans to modernize its legacy IT systems, migrate to the cloud, and optimize its data center operations, and get feedback from industry on the best ways to achieve its planned IT outcomes and on the capabilities of companies in this regard.

“DHS is committed to a hybrid IT, multi-cloud, federated and vendor-neutral approach,” the department says in the Feb. 19 posting. The department’s IT portfolio is valued at around $6.8 billion, it says.

At the start of 2018, about 17 percent of the department’s IT application systems were in the process of moving to the cloud and 5 percent were already in the cloud, the RFI says.

The department’s cloud efforts are overseen by the Cloud Steering Group, which is chaired by Undersecretary of Management Claire Grady and includes senior officials from DHS components. Grady is currently the acting deputy secretary of DHS.

In its cloud strategy, DHS says it is developing a framework “to drive enterprise-wide benefits” that include better information sharing, resilience, efficiency, eliminating fixed costs tied to its data centers, “agile and proactive cybersecurity,” obtaining greater access to innovations in the marketplace, and more.

DHS currently has two data centers. Data Center 1, which is managed by the IT segment of General Dynamics [GD], and Data Center 2, which is managed by Hewlett Packard Enterprise [HPE]. Both contracts expire in June 2020.

DHS says it is “right sizing” its footprint in Data Center 1 to optimize the facility and the CSG has tasked department components to make plans for the end of the Data Center 2 contract.

Under go forward plans outlined in the RFI, DHS wants to migrate “infrastructure and applications in Data Center 2, mainly to commercial CSPs (Cloud Service Providers) but in some cases to other Data Centers including hybrid or private Clouds.”

For Data Center 1, DHS is focused on “Optimization and management of the infrastructure and applications … and potentially other government-owned anchor point facilities, including supporting managed services; and hybrid and private cloud-related services,” it says. It wants to continue to have some systems on premises at the data center.

DHS is managing acquisitions related to the RFI under its EAGLE Next Generation program. Responses to the RFI are due by March 20.