USSOCOM Fields Innovative Technology at SOFWERX

By Ryan Granato, analyst

Demand for new communications and network capabilities for both the Command and the operator are of the highest priority for USSOCOM these days and were oft-repeated themes during the recent Special Operations Forces Industry Conference. SOFIC has turned into the event where industry and government converge every year to showcase current capabilities and discuss mission-related technology challenges.

According to Jim Smith, USSOCOM’s acquisition executive, current communication requirements revolve around issues such as network visibility, assured communications and reduced digital signature to avoid detection in operating environments. Solutions that address IoT and edge computing complement the command’s need for a fully-connected and sensor-enabled operator. In doing business with USSOCOM, Smith emphasized the importance of utilizing SOFWERX.

USSOCOM typically fields new capabilities at a rate much higher than their counterparts. However, technology continues to advance at a rate that traditional government acquisition processes cannot keep pace with. In response, USSOCOM launched SOFWERX, a technology incubator of its own to increase government and industry collaboration through a variety of USSOCOM-hosted projects and events. Kelly Stratton-Feix, director of Acquisition Agility at SOFWERX, stated that the immediate priorities set forth for SOFWERX are shorter procurement cycles and increased support of small businesses.

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Blockchain Attractive to Feds for Reducing Risk

Ryan Granato_resized

By Ryan Granato, analyst

Blockchain has been around for some time, but the United States Government has not yet incorporated it into their portfolio, meaning there is huge opportunity to be had in this emerging market. Originally, blockchain was created as a supporting infrastructure for digital currencies such as bitcoin.

Imagine a dataset that is disseminated and duplicated multiple times across a network. Then imagine that the network, which supports the dissemination of this data, is designed to regularly update the data across all devices. Like the internet, blockchain technology stores identical blocks of data across the network. However, blockchain technology allows for decentralized data. This means that blockchain is immune to single points of failure and cannot be controlled by any single entity, which makes it very attractive to a government customer concerned about the increase in malicious network disruptions.

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