The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) plans to drive cloud adoption across the department with a new centralized cloud basic ordering agreement it calls STRATUS, according to a pre-solicitation notice USDA released last week.

According to the notice, USDA intends to issue a suite of department-wide Cloud Basic Ordering Agreements (BOA) to obtain rapid access to hyperscale cloud infrastructure services, cloud integration and development providers, and software-as-a-service providers and resellers.

This collection of BOAs, formally known as USDA STRATUS, will provide rapid access to cloud capabilities, with 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 notice explains.

Currently, USDA’s Digital Infrastructure Services Center offers what the department calls a consolidated “easy button” for cloud infrastructure service adoption.

According to the notice, the STRATUS contract would expand this. Specifically, USDA hopes to expand its portfolio of “complex solutions from design [and] 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 “identify approved sources of supply for commercial cloud landing zones, enterprise software-as-a-service and data, geospatial, and security management services.”

However, USDA has yet to offer any details on what the STRATUS acquisition will look like. The notice does suggest the contract could run for 10-plus years to provide “malleable contracts that can evolve with the maturation of governance, the evolution of technology, and vendor dynamics.”

USDA notes that there is currently no formal request for information or solicitation. The notice publicizes USDA’s upcoming intent and prepares industry for the USDA STRATUS program and acquisition.

However, USDA expects to issue additional requests for information, sources sought, or other notices soon.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.