IBM has announced that the U.S. Army is using IBM Hybrid Cloud to power one of the biggest logistics systems in the U.S. federal government. The new hybrid cloud system is designed to connect the IBM Cloud to the Army's on-premise environment to enable broad use of data analytics for sharper insights and result in improved performance, enterprise scale, better security, and greater reliability — all IBM hallmarks.

The Logistics Support Activity — known as LOGSA — provides on-time integrated logistics support of Army operations worldwide that impacts every soldier, every day. Since migrating to an on premise hybrid cloud model with IBM in 2014, LOGSA processes 40 million unique data transactions every day — more than the New York Stock Exchange.

Achieving cost savings of 50% with this new model, the Army can now focus on bringing in new analytics services such as condition-based maintenance and data mining that can benefit all Army organizations. LOGSA will harness data and analytics via cloud computing to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of logistical coordination. Doing so requires the ability to easily connect the cloud to existing IT systems.

LOGSA is home of the Logistics Information Warehouse (LIW), the Army's official storehouse for collecting, storing, organizing and delivering logistics data. It provides critical logistics information capabilities through analytics tools and business intelligence solutions to acquire, manage, equip and sustain the materiel needs of the U.S. Army.  LIW provides services to more than 65,000 users and 150 direct trading partners around the world.

As the Army's authoritative source for logistics data, LOGSA provides logistics intelligence, life cycle support, technical advice, and assistance to the current and future force; integrates logistics information (force structure, readiness, and other logistics data) for worldwide equipment readiness and distribution analysis; and offers asset visibility for timely and proactive decision making.

As the logistics units in the Army equip, sustain, and maintain the force, IBM provides reliability, timeliness, and cost savings. With the new cloud delivery model, Army logistics personnel have the ability to manage the movement of equipment with up to date, accurate information.

"The Army not only recognized a trend in IT that could transform how they deliver services to their logistics personnel around the world, they also implemented a cloud environment quickly and are already experiencing significant benefits," said Anne Altman, general manager for U.S. Federal at IBM. "They're taking advantage of the inherent benefits of hybrid cloud: security and the ability to connect it with an existing IT system. It also gives the Army the flexibility to incorporate new analytics services and mobile capabilities."

In December 2014, IDC named IBM a leader in U.S. Government private cloud. IBM recently opened SoftLayer Federal cloud centers in Ashburn, Va., and Dallas. These centers were built to meet Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) and Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) requirements for government workloads. 

In addition to the SoftLayer cloud centers, IBM offers its FedRAMP-certified SmartCloud for Government. IBM also built one of the industry's first cloud centers dedicated to workloads from the Department of Defense at impact levels 3-5 that can handle higher-risk unclassified data. The IBM Cloud Managed Services for Government-Department of Defense (CMS for Defense) is located at the Allegany Ballistics Laboratory (ABL) in West Virginia, which is owned by the Department of the Navy.


This article was originally posted “U.S. Army Taps IBM Hybrid Cloud” from Cloud Strategy Magazine.