Opportunities on the Horizon within DISA Part 2

Lloyd McCoy_65x85by Lloyd McCoy Jr., Consultant

Building on last week’s blog post, focusing on DISA’s major enterprise wide initiatives for DOD where I gave some updates on the current state of DISA’s fiscal environment and what the agency is doing in the areas of cloud procurement. This week I’ll explore DISA’s increasing role in cybersecurity and the impact of contract consolidation.

Amping up Role in Cybersecurity…

FY15 is going to be a busy year for DISA on the security front. DISA is standing up the Joint Force Headquarters (JFHQ) which will serve as the execution command for US Cyber Command (CYBERCOM). What this means is if CYBERCOM sees a vulnerability in DOD’s network, JFHQ will be able to turn off, say a port or application (even if it belongs to another DOD component). This gives DISA greater input in cyber defense than before and Montemarano alerts industry to expect RFIs in the next quarter as the agency seeks to build up this capability. Montemarano also hinted that a vendor agnostic replacement to DISA’s HBSS will kick off early next year with a RFI.

FY15 will see ongoing efforts to consolidate security stacks and firewalls to enhance visibility into DOD networks. Enterprise Operating Centers (EOC) are also planned this year. The EOC, in concert with the stack consolidation, will make it easier for network operators to observe activity on the DOD network. FY15 will see construction of new EOC sites. Data management, cybersecurity, visualization, networking, and storage requirements will continue to follow this initiative. The security stacks and EOC are key parts of the Joint Information Environment concept. While on the subject of the JIE, Montemarano wanted to dispel certain notions about JIE related requirements and contracts. He pointed out that the JIE is not about new technology but getting better at bringing together what DOD has and making it all interoperable.

Contracting Consolidation

People have come to the Market Intelligence team at immixGroup asking about the government-wide trend toward contract consolidation, worried about the implications. On this topic, Mr. Montemarano wanted to assure vendors, particularly small businesses, that while they may see less contracts, small business participation is still critical to achieving mission outcomes. Across DOD, expect fewer site-specific contracts and buying on vehicles rather than standalones. However, while contract consolidation is a common theme across procurement offices, including DISA’s, they will still represent a fraction of obligations.

The main priority for DISA on the contracting front is releasing a RFI for Encore III, its follow-on IDIQ from Encore II which had a $12+ billion ceiling/10 years. The sources sought notice is expected in Q2 FY15. Also, over the next quarter or so, DISA will be figuring out ways to make contracting faster and more responsive.

Despite this activity, DISA is not completely immune to budgetary pressures. In fact, Montemarano stated that DISA will be taking a hard look at where the agency can trim spending and preserve mission essential IT programs and contracts. This reinforces a point we’ve made before: understanding the mission and explicitly linking your solution to DISA’s needs will go a long way. We will be covering more opportunities like this in our DOD Budget Briefing at the upcoming Government IT Sales Summit on November 20.

About Lloyd McCoy Jr.
Lloyd McCoy is the Department of Defense Consultant on the Market Intelligence team. Prior to working for immixGroup, he worked in the public sector as a senior analyst with the Defense Department. Lloyd primarily monitors and analyzes issues relating to the Navy/Marine Corps, Defense Health Agency, and the Defense Information Systems Agency

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