Contract award imminent for EITaaS Wave 1, Air Force CIO says

Lauren Knausenberger, U.S. Air Force chief information officer, greets U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Adam Williams, 52nd Communications Squadron commander, in front of Club Eifel on Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, July 21, 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ali Stewart)

The Air Force is “close” to issuing a contract award for Wave 1 of its Enterprise IT as a Service (EITaaS) initiative, according to the chief information officer.

A few years ago, the Air Force embarked on outsourcing much of its IT functions to private industry to free up its own personnel from doing mundane network activities so they could focus more on proactive functions such as hunting threats on the network. Wave 1 of EITaaS serves as an upgrade with improved and consolidated service desks as well as a catalog for more than 700,000 users worldwide, according to the Air Force. Wave 1 is also the first effort to expand from the initial EITaaS risk reduction effort.  

Speaking at a forum hosted by the Potomac Officers Club on Tuesday, Air Force CIO Lauren Knausenberger said she expects Wave 1 to be awarded “any second now,” adding “I can’t tell you a date yet, but I know we’re close.”

Knausenberger noted that Wave 1 is fully funded.

With Wave 1, for the first time, she said, the Air Force will have enterprise IT service management, one platform and one easy way to enter a trouble ticket. Ideally, it will allow for the use of analytics and other tools to identify issues in the enterprise and go after those, as opposed to waiting for the trouble tickets to come in.

There will also be a wider variety of end user devices as well as an easier way to order them.  

As for Wave 2, Knausenberger said the scope is still changing as the Air Force moves toward industry days and draft requests for proposals. At the very least, it will include overhauling base infrastructure. Around 30 bases are prioritized for Wave 2, she said.

“I suspect that the money will come when one of our industry partners knocks it out of the park and shows us that that next generation architecture makes a huge impact for unclassified and secret warfighting capabilities as well as a huge impact to our business capability, our ability to fight with our allies and our ability just to be more efficient in our day-to-day business,” she said.