Outdated Software, Meet Innovation!

We all know that the Defense Department’s outdated software lags behind current industry standards. Procurement and updates take entirely too long. To get a handle on the situation, the Defense Innovation Board, through the DoD, conducted a year-long study with the results of the study, released last Friday. (Federal News Network, May 3, 2019)

The Defense Innovation Board suggests the following to get DoD software up to speed:

  • Congress updating laws to reduce procurement timeframes;
  • All military agencies working together to test and optimize software;
  • Ensuring cybersecurity; and
  • Enriching software employees through services. (ibid)

The DoD undersecretary would like to complete multiple pilots with one line of funds for software development, which would give DoD administrative flexibility. Other suggestions include special pathways for rapid acquisition of applications and upgrades, quicker turnaround time for software requirements processes, and a fund available for rapid software acquisition and upgrades. (ibid)

Any new defense acquisition system should be optimized for software-centric (not hardware) systems that prioritize security, speed, and cycle time over cost, schedule, and strict requirements.. Additionally, “DoD will need to create and maintain an interoperable digital infrastructure that enables rapid deployment, scaling, testing and optimization of software as an enduring capability; manage it using modern development methods and eliminate the existing hardware-centric regulations and other barriers for software programs.” (ibid)

The report emphasizes bringing software development into the modern age by making it a high-priority career track with specialized recruiting, education, promotions, and salaries to attract the talent necessary to maintain, optimize, and develop products over time. It also pointed out that procurement requirements must move from rigid lists to a format of desired features and required characteristics: this will keep programs from bottlenecking. (ibid)

The Pentagon is currently rewriting D0D’s primary acquisition policy document, Instruction 5000.02, in an effort to start improving the acquisition process.  Many see this as a step in the right direction, albeit a small one.

Do you have a talent pool ready to work with DoD to modernize their software and new acquisition process? Give us a call at 301-913-5000, and we can talk about your options.

TSA Gets FAST (in One Way At Least)

TSA plans to use its Fast Agile Scalable Teams (FAST) procurement program to acquire customized software and to bring legacy systems up to date. The agency will compile a list of tech companies to create the new software applications.

Prime vendors selected under the BPA will break large projects into smaller chunks, a great opportunity for smaller companies to develop relationships with both larger tech companies and agency contracting officers. Building and maintaining a suite of enterprise-wide software applications will take time and personnel.

The BPA will cover multiple awardees, including two statements of work focused on supporting operations and enterprise-wide systems. TSA will select other teams to maintain “mission essential systems,” create and implement a data management platform, and build new software to meet the agency’s changing needs.

FAST leaves the door open for small businesses to develop automation tools, coach teams in agile methodology, and perform an array of other functions.

Interested in working with TSA? Give us a call at 301-913-5000.