How the DOD’s FY19 Modernization Priorities Align to Technology

Stephanie MeloniGlobal communication concept. Technological abstract background.

By Stephanie Meloni, consultant

The Department of Defense continues to evolve at a fast pace to modernize and stay ahead of adversarial threats. This past year has brought many changes in terms of organizations within the DOD. To name a few, we have the Army Futures Command, the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center and the Defense Innovation Unit, that dropped the “X” (for experimental), to imply its permanent role in helping the DOD stay on the cutting edge of technology.

These organizational shifts and changes show the DOD’s response to the changing warfighting environment. Last year, much of the priority was on restoring readiness—now the Department has shifted to modernization. Increases in budget (and actual appropriations) are allowing decision makers to more strategically align funds to the investment priorities that need the most attention. IT spending is set to peak in FY19, so it will be a critical year for technology companies to come in and help the DOD with solutions that will help them stay focused on modernization. Here are just a few of those priorities:

  • New DOD Cyber Strategy: In September of this year, the DOD unveiled a new cyber strategy that aligns priorities to the National Defense Strategy. Much of the focus of this strategy will be on “defense forward,” which will require identifying threats before they hit any DOD network. Another key component of the strategy will be looking for flexible, off-the-shelf solutions that not only help reduce cost associated with custom-built solutions, but also helps them operate with more agility in the cyber domain.
  • Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning: This is the biggest technology area the DOD is evaluating for future capabilities. They have begun to pilot this type of solution in many places and the growth for AI is going to be exponential as they continue to evaluate its potential. Use cases for AI for DOD apply to improving maintenance and repair of weapons systems like ships, aircraft and their associated parts, supply chain management, improving business process and overall reducing manpower needed to perform less mission-critical tasks. Many infrastructure investments will also aim to lay the foundation for a data architecture that supports DOD-wide AI.
  • Space Investments: Space continues to be a growing area for DOD and they want to build it out as a more resilient warfighting domain. Much of the conversation for space in the past year revolved around development of the Space Corps, a space-specific military organization. It’s going to take time for lawmakers to hammer out the details, but DOD space investments are a growing area, with about $9B dedicated to space programs for FY19. Cyber and infrastructure will be key to helping the DOD improve and protect satellites and GPS systems.

For continued conversation on these priorities and deeper dives into service branches and other DOD organizations, join us at the 5th Annual Government IT Sales Summit on November 15, 2018 in Reston, Virginia.

To keep up to date on DOD trends and directions all year, subscribe to immixGroup’s Government Sales Insider blog.

One Response to How the DOD’s FY19 Modernization Priorities Align to Technology

  1. Pingback: How the DOD’s FY19 Modernization Priorities Align to Technology - Government Aggregator

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