Pointing out IT failures at the US Department of Defense is like shooting fish in a barrel, but here we are with another in the cross-hairs: this time it's the DoD that has failed to account for the costs associated with restrictive cloud licensing agreements.
According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), restrictive software licenses associated with commercial cloud contracts have resulted in increased costs and limited choices in service providers, among other problems. Many of the issues cited could have been avoided if the DoD had guidance and plans in place to do anything other than identify the presence of restrictive licensing risks, but the GAO said that's not the case.
"DoD's policy and guidance documents addressed identifying impacts related to restrictive software licensing practices during the acquisition process," the GAO said, but those plans don't address "analyzing impacts of restrictive practices during the acquisition process." There's no guidance for identifying or analyzing impacts of restrictive software licenses for established IT investments at all, the GAO noted.
To bring this full-circle, "DoD's plans also did not require components to mitigate impacts of restrictive software licensing practices," the auditors added.