Future IT Priorities in Store for DOD in FY17

DOD’s COCOMs: Unique Opportunities and RequirementsLloyd McCoy Jr.by Lloyd McCoy Jr., DOD Manager

Continuing on last week’s blog post, Three Key Takeaways from the President’s FY17 Budget Request this week I’ll be focusing on some major DOD-specific IT priorities from the President’s FY17 budget request. In case you didn’t know, this will be the last budget request under the Obama administration.

Under the proposed plan, the Department of Defense (DOD) would receive $524 billion ($583 billion if you count wartime contingency spending). While that figure is a slight dip from FY16 funding levels, the language in the request emphasizes information technology’s critical role in achieving efficiencies and serving as a force multiplier.

While much ink will be spilled in coming days on changes to the major DOD weapon and vehicle programs (as expected, we don’t see much in the way of new major investments), what impact can we expect the new budget to have on IT spending?

Here are some of the top 3 DOD priorities reflected in the Presidents FY17 budget request:

  1. CYBERSECURITY FRONT AND CENTER
    No surprise, cybersecurity will remain a top priority for DOD. The overall budget for cybersecurity spending jumped to $19 billion, a 35% increase over FY16 levels. The Pentagon plans to spend about $7 billion on cybersecurity in FY17, a 21% increase from the $5.5 billion set aside for this year. Expect more investments in identity and access management, cyber resiliency and built-in security for some of DOD’s large network modernization, cloud and mobility initiatives. Additionally, we’ll see renewed focus on new and emerging cyber solutions.

  1. INTEROPERABILITY TO THE RESCUE
    Interoperability will be a major IT priority in FY17. All of the service branches are going through aggressive modernization efforts, replacing entire classes of carriers, attack aircraft and submarines as well as a new military electronic health record. The result is an IT environment with both new and legacy systems that have different configurations and capabilities. This mixture creates many headaches for DOD program managers — and opportunities for IT vendors — to help them tackle security vulnerabilities and ensure everything from systems, networks and aircraft can communicate with each other.
  1. INNOVATION RAMPING UP IN SILICON VALLEY
    We’ve seen a ramp up over the last year in DOD engagements with Silicon Valley, as part of an effort by the Department to tap into startup technologies and accelerate acquisition cycles. DOD leaders see these engagements as a complement to the more traditional defense industrial base and it’s still unclear how interested these companies are in DOD’s overtures but there’s no question, Secretary Carter sees this as a top priority in his last year in office. In terms of teaming opportunities and engagements the new Defense Innovation Unit-Experimental (DIUx) office, located near San Francisco, serves as the liaison between industry and the Department.

Detailed information on specific IT investments are a couple of months away. Stay tuned for highlights on insertion points as more information gets released and as we dig deeper into the President’s FY17 budget request. Contact immixGroup’s Market Intelligence team today  to learn about specific offices and contacts that are most likely to purchase your IT solution.

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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