4 Areas Air Force Looks to COTS Vendors to Fuel Innovation
February 26, 2015 1 Comment
With the 2016 DOD Budget Request kicking around Congress, we’ll have to wait and see how the budget ultimately shakes out. We are also still waiting to receive the FY16 Information Technology budget requests for the Services. But, with an overall increase in the DOD request, we have reason to hope that when the final spending bill does pass, it will still include more funding than FY15 enacted budgets.
The Air Force’s total budget base (or “blue”) request for FY16 is 122.2 Billion dollars, which represents about a 12% increase from FY15. Operations and Maintenance, which has long been an area targeted for cuts, along with Procurement, will surprisingly see the biggest increases in the FY16 request. Also interestingly, RDT&E Research Development Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) shows an increase of about 13% from last year. The Air Force is an organization that is very committed to the idea of innovation. They spend more on RDT&E than the rest of the Services.
The Air Force recognizes the need to build out future capabilities and IT will be the key to many of their modernization efforts. The department’s IT budget request last year (which was the only one of the Services to receive an increase) reflected their commitment to new IT capabilities, as it showed an increase in funds specifically dedicated to development, modernization, and enhancement, versus merely sustaining current systems. With an increase in the request RDT&E in FY16, I think it’s a safe assumption that their IT budget will again show an increase in funds dedicated to purchasing new capabilities.
Here are 4 areas the Air Force will be looking at the COTS community to help them continue advancing their mission of achieving technological superiority in FY16:
- BIG DATA
Big data and analytics will help the Air Force discover answers to new challenges and problems.
Cybersecurity will be a huge priority for the Air Force going forward. They will need cyber situational awareness tools and will need help with a common operational platform as they stand-up more Cyber Mission Forces.
- IT CONSOLIDATION
The Air Force aspires to move to more open systems to help them deal with the problem of disparate infrastructures.
- SYSTEM AUTOMATION
Automation will be a big push as the Air Force works to deal with data from sensors and intelligence systems. This is a technology that also allows them to deal with reduction in available manpower, and will be relied on heavily for data processing and mission planning systems.
Given future budget uncertainty, these technologies are a safe bet. Sequestration is not yet off the table for FY16 and compromise is in order to hash out budget requests. Still, the Air Force recognizes the importance of modernization and will be committed to technologies that can help them accomplish their mission. Contact immixGroup’s Market Intelligence team today to learn about specific offices and contacts that are most likely to purchase your IT solution.
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