How and where to do business in the Navy: Part I
April 18, 2017 1 Comment
By Lloyd McCoy, DOD manager
One of the biggest priorities of the Trump administration is a boost to the Department of Defense budget, specifically a substantial expansion of the Navy’s fleet. While a detailed FY18 budget is forthcoming, Navy commanders and program managers have recently been vocal about their priorities.
In this two-part series, I’ll break down the major insertion points within Navy and the Marine Corps and highlight what matters to the tech community, specifically the major drivers for IT spending through FY18.
First, let’s explore some of the commands and program offices that handle everything from aviation to information warfare.
The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) is one of the Navy’s largest systems commands and provides support to the service’s aviation assets.
The big emphasis here is on linking surface and aviation platforms. The Navy performs a good deal of joint training with the Air Force so there’s always a need for secure communications and command and control between heterogeneous aircraft and systems (interoperability).
Also, NAVAIR’s large training and R&D programs are on the lookout for emerging technologies, particularly in modeling, simulation and even virtual or augmented reality. This is a good insertion point for companies selling digital media, mobile device management and data visualization solutions.
The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) is the largest of the Navy’s systems command and is responsible for equipping its afloat and undersea ships and submarines.
The Navy’s most expensive platform projects fall under NAVSEA, namely its carrier and submarine programs. As the Navy begins its slow buildup to a 300+ ship fleet, a big focus will be on increasing interconnectedness between and within its afloat and undersea fleet. The submarine fleet needs the most work since it never had to think about interoperability. The Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES) network, the Navy’s new afloat network, will help but isn’t the end all be all. NAVSEA is looking for opportunities to improve efficiencies with what it has, as well as improve the Navy’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
PEO-C4I is responsible for providing battlefield management and information warfare for the Navy’s platforms.
The challenge for PEO-C4I is installing technologies onto a fleet made up of old and new ships. To call configuration management a challenge is an understatement. Unfortunately, as those who sell to the government well know, the speed of technology exceeds the speed of acquisition. This isn’t new and with these limitations in mind, PEO-C4I is especially receptive to solutions that offer upgradeability, interoperability, installability and usability. Also, vendors will be well positioned if they can demonstrate how their tool, which might be aimed at supporting a specific system, supports the “system of systems” capability requirements of the Navy.
While PEO-C4I is oriented toward direct support to the warfighter, PEO-EIS plays in business operations that provide backend support to the warfighter. Business intelligence and business operations vendors will find plenty of opportunities here. The IT programs in its portfolio are diverse, ranging from a new enterprise procurement system to human resources, education and records management. Companies in the data center and application rationalization space should note that the Navy’s Datacenter Optimization Office resides within this PEO as well.
Finally, pay attention to the Innovation Cell, which is responsible for alerting industry on what the Navy needs and getting solutions inducted into the Navy enterprise faster.
The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) engineers IT systems for the Navy and is also the technical authority for cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity tools that they procure for the rest of the Navy focus on improving resilience and they want cybersecurity to be an integrated part of any systems engineering process. Vendors who can help ensure the Navy’s many offices and branches have implemented appropriate security controls and are compliant should talk to SPAWAR as those responsibilities also fall under their purview.
Stay tuned for the second part of this series, which will explore the Marine Corps’ cyber focus for FY18. Also interested in the Navy’s IT priorities? Listen to our latest webinar on Army’s IT Modernization Plan—What Lies Ahead?