The Veterans Affairs Department is looking for a team of developers to stand up and support a new cloud environment where the agency can develop and host a variety of mobile apps.
The group would also be charged with migrating between 20 and 30 applications to the new platform and providing maintenance services to keep them up and running.
VA on Friday began accepting bids to build the Mobile Applications Cloud Migration, a platform that would replace the Mobile Infrastructure system where the agency currently hosts its mobile apps. The new platform, which will be housed in the VA Enterprise Cloud, would include separate environments for app development, staging and production, according to the request for proposal.
The contract will run one year with four additional 12-month option periods and could be worth up to $7.6 million.
In the RFP, officials specified the migration efforts would take place in a series of 2-week sprints. The five- to seven-employee team is required to follow agile development techniques, they said.
The effort comes as VA reworks its entire online presence to make services more accessible and user-friendly for some 9 million veterans.
As it stands, VA websites are organized in a similar way to the agency itself—benefits, health care, cemetery services and other products are housed under different sites. In effect, that means vets need to understand the agency’s bureaucratic structure to access its services.
In recent years, the agency has worked to make this digital maze easier to navigate. In 2015, VA launched vets.gov, which offers a one-stop shop for applying for benefits and tracking claims, and last week the agency began recruiting developers to build a content management system for a consolidated central site.
“What we hear consistently from veterans is ‘I’m confused and I don’t understand why the VA doesn’t act like one organization,’” Jacobs told Nextgov in a June conversation. “[We’re] really trying to change the conversation with the veteran and make it easier for them to interact with the VA.”