New Deltek GovWin IQ Report Provides Insight Into key Technology Priorities and Implementation Strategies at the Department of Defense
Despite unprecedented challenges for FY 2014 and beyond, the Department of Defense (DoD) continues to develop critical IT capabilities as a foundation for its long-term defense strategy. According to Deltek’s new report, Defense IT: Strategy, Implementation and Challenges, the DoD’s need for an integrated and networked force will spur its momentum towards IT integration, standardization and advanced capabilities that support mission goals and reduce costs. The report examines DoD’s strategic IT vision, the environmental factors impacting its execution, and the key technology priorities being deployed to support DoD’s long-term strategy.
Budget constraints, expanding missions and plans for force restructuring required DoD to develop new strategic and operational approaches over the past several years. In order to operate within new budget and threat realities, the department is laying the groundwork for a more agile and efficient environment, one in which technology will play a critical role. DoD’s technology priorities reflect an interconnected set of capabilities that are intended to increase efficiency and reduce costs. Deltek’s report focuses on DoD’s highest priority capabilities: the Joint Information Environment (JIE), cloud computing, cybersecurity, big data, mobility, business system modernization, health IT and technology to support Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and Unmanned Vehicles.
These focus areas show evolving priorities in different stages of implementation, but each serves to address DoD’s need for a much more integrated foundation for both warfighter support and business operations. While implementation progress has slowed on many fronts due to declining budgets, Defense leadership appears to remain focused on executing projects for near- and long-term gains.
“When looking across DoD’s information technology priorities, it’s clear that defense leaders are being as aggressive as budgets and culture will allow to drive out waste and inefficiency,” said Deniece Peterson, Director of Federal Industry Analysis at Deltek. “That means taking an enterprise-wide view and driving standardization, which is not an easy task.”
The Department of Defense CIO, Teri Takai, has developed enterprise strategies intended to set the stage for integration and standardization. One of the critical elements of DoD’s strategy is the Joint Information Environment. The JIE establishes DoD’s future Common Operating Environment, and will require investments to support interoperability, cybersecurity and cloud-based enterprise services. There is work being done in parallel to establish a foundation for JIE, in areas such as software reduction, data center consolidation, cloud computing and mobile security.
“The Services have been instructed to budget for JIE implementation in their FY 2015 submissions, which speaks to its importance in DoD’s long-term vision,” said Alex Rossino, Principal Research Analyst at Deltek. “The complexity of the JIE, including the need to integrate cloud services, will drive the need for significant contractor support.”
The same is true for DoD’s need for emerging cybersecurity technologies and advanced ISR capabilities. From a business operations standpoint, DoD is also moving ahead with the consolidation and deduplication of major business systems and overhauling health IT capabilities.
While the Department plans to expand its footprint in its priority technology areas to ultimately better serve the warfighter, the key question is how the DoD will adapt its budget to accomplish its goals. Deltek forecasts a decline in contractor-addressable IT spending from $61.5B in FY 2013 to $53.0B in FY 2018, which means the DoD will be forced to scrutinize every investment for the value it provides.
This scrutiny will extend to contractors, as defense agencies look to them to provide secure solutions that are cost-effective and present low-to-moderate risk. “Contractors that will be successful in this market will be prepared for DoD’s high sensitivity to price, “said Peterson. “This means preparing to address demands for lower prices during recompetes, new payment models like we see with cloud computing, and enterprise-wide agreements.”