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Tightening Budgets, Acquisition Reform Threaten Defense IT Priorities
May 04, 2011 (04:05 PM EDT)
IT Security and Standardization Key to Sustaining Progress
RESTON, Va., May 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Department of Defense (DoD) faces unprecedented challenges as it prepares for FY 2012 and beyond, according to a new INPUT report from Deltek (Nasdaq: PROJ). Including the convergence of a tightening budget environment, information technology (IT) acquisition reform, shifting war-fighting requirements and the move towards IT integration and standardization, these simultaneous changes could both facilitate and hinder the DoD's progress towards its goal of total IT transformation. A new report issued by Deltek's INPUT Business Unit, Department of Defense IT and Acquisition Landscape, examines both the DoD's strategic IT vision for the future, and the key technology, budgetary and policy factors that are expected to influence the nature and pace of this conversion. With the ultimate goal of supporting the war-fighter, DoD agencies are working towards the vertical interconnectivity of strategic and tactical networks, in addition to the horizontal integration of cross-cutting systems. However, with both budgetary uncertainties looming and cultural barriers remaining to be tackled, the DoD's leadership will face some tough decisions moving forward.
"In many cases, tight budgets facilitate efficiency, in that it forces prioritization," said Deniece Peterson, senior manager of federal industry analysis within Deltek's INPUT Business Unit. "However, some of the prerequisites for deploying solutions to drive efficiency, such as cloud computing, require significant work to standardize DoD's IT environment—all with security still in mind." As noted by Defense Chief Information Officer (CIO) Teri Takai in a recent Deltek event, cloud computing can be a critical enabler of better war-fighter support—but only after interoperability, information sharing and standardization are realized.
The report also examines the desired end-state of DoD agencies' IT environments and identifies strategic and tactical solutions being implemented to reach those goals, such as cloud computing, simulation and modeling, ISR and information security.
"While we expect to see expansion in these fields as a consequence of the DoD's desire to better serve the war-fighter through modernization and security, the real question lies in whether the agency can move past existing budget restrictions to do so in a significant way," said John Slye, senior principal research analyst within Deltek's INPUT Business Unit.
"To take the leap toward standardization, Defense agencies now face the internal challenges of breaking through departmental stovepipes," added Peterson. "Change in this regard will be driven in large part by its growing impact on the war-fighter, as well as security requirements and redundancy in investments."
Adding complexity to the challenge are anticipated changes to the way the DoD will acquire these technology solutions. IT acquisition reform is underway with a more modular, incremental approach to acquisition and IT development. Besides tracking impacts of DoD's upcoming acquisition strategy, the report also includes:
Report Author: Peterson and Slye are available for media inquires.
Report Availability: Department of Defense IT and Acquisition Landscape is available on INPUT's website at the following link: http://DoDAcquisition.input.com
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