3 Air Force IT Opportunities to Pursue
May 17, 2016 1 Comment
By Stephanie Meloni, Senior Analyst
If you listened to my Selling IT to the Air Force Webinar last week, you probably heard a recurring theme: Air Force is driving toward multi-domain operations. This means syncing operations between air, land, space, and cyber.
The good news is the service has the budget for it. The Air Force is actually one place in the Defense Department that’s had an increase in its FY17 IT budget request—3 percent higher from the FY16 enacted budget. There’s a jump in requested funding for both buckets of money—steady state (also known as OPEX) and DME (also known as CAPEX)—for acquisition of new capabilities, with about a $120 million jump for FY17.
So what does that mean for tech companies? The Air Force’s IT focus areas span from networking and infrastructure management, to command and control applications integration, to data collection and analysis.
Here are three interesting areas to target:
- PEO Battle Management: This is where the command and control and intelligence systems are managed across Air Force. This organization is managing the most FY17 IT spending, with close to $1 billion (nearly 20 percent of the entire Air Force IT budget) allocated to their programs. What they care about from a commercial technology standpoint: data management and integration, application development and integration, and cybersecurity for their systems.
- PEO Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks: This office’s FY17 programs total about $850 million, so they’re right behind Battle Management in terms of total IT investments. When you think of this office’s technology needs, they really boil down to data—integration of ISR data, developing bandwidth for larger volumes of data, and taking all of that and getting it into a useable format for aerial decision makers. Expect to see requirements around applications and data integration, and especially risk management and threat detection.
- Cyber Proving Ground: Similar to Navy’s Innovation Cell, where capabilities are tested more quickly, this is the Air Force’s answer to keeping up with the pace of technology. Industry has a really good chance to partner on new solutions where they’re not already working, with an emphasis on situational awareness in the cyber domain. The office wants to start with some simpler problems for quick wins and then work larger problems, like improving network operations.
Want to hear more from my one-hour Webinar? Click here for a recording and slides. Reach out to immixGroup’s Market Intelligence team if you’d like more guidance on tapping into Air Force IT sales opportunities.