Top Trending Technologies in DOD for 2020

By Toné Mason, DOD Senior Analyst

FY20 has truly been the year of technology acceleration within the Department of Defense. Our world has never been more capable technology-wise than it is today. The arrival of 5G and the new challenges brought on by a rapidly expanding remote workforce have catapulted the adoption of new and innovative technologies.

The DOD is at a point where they are looking to gain a better understanding of currently available technologies and applying them where it makes the most sense. Below are some of the key areas the DOD is focused on right now.

Data Integrity

Data integrity is one of the essential areas. As the need for transparency increases and desire to expand more into AI and machine learning, there has been more of a realization that DOD’s data is not consistent, not all data is being recorded and data is incomplete. Read more of this post

Winners in the FY21 Defense Budget Request

By Toné Mason, Senior DOD Analyst

The President is requesting $705.4B in DOD funding for FY21, which is a modest 0.1% increase from FY20. The biggest winner by far is U.S. Space Force, but there are still plenty of opportunities across DOD and the services for IT vendors.

Announced in FY20, funding for Space Force in FY21 is largely focused on providing funding for the establishment of the organization as a whole. More details regarding metrics and objectives are anticipated to be further developed over the next few years. From what we know at this time, automation, infrastructure, cyber and data analytics are anticipated to be key areas of interest for them.

Here’s a summary of DOD budget highlights for FY21. Read more of this post

Space Force…Lasers, Satellites, Debt, Oh My!

By Toné Mason, DOD Senior Analyst

The Space Force has finally been established and its focus will be on national security and the preservation of satellites. But what exactly is it and where is it going? Will it include spaceships that shoot out laser beams?

Lots of people are asking lots of questions, but let’s get started with the biggest elephant in the room – armed combat. The Space Force will not include armed combat scenarios and the Air Force has no intentions to make it that way. Now that bubbles have been burst, what is the point of the Space Force if it won’t include armed combat? Why do we need a Space Force if there will be no armed combat? Read more of this post

Military Health IT Modernization: What Lies Ahead – Part 2

By Toné Mason, DOD Senior Analyst

As I discussed in my blog last month, health technology and health services continue to represent a significant part of DOD spending, requiring acquisition planning to keep pace. With limited funding and enterprise contracts essentially status quo through 2020, agency executives are encouraging vendors to prepare now for 2021.

At the recent 2019 Defense Health Information Technology Symposium, Tom McCaffery, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs noted that the Military Health System (MHS) is a $50+ billion per year military medical enterprise, with 51 hospitals, 424 medical clinics and 248 dental clinics worldwide. As a health benefits program, it covers 9.5 million lives, almost 800,000 network providers, with over 60% of care purchased from civilian sources. McCaffery estimated that MHS spends $1 of every $10 budgeted to the DoD each year. Read more of this post

Military Health IT Modernization: What Lies Ahead – Part 1

Toné Mason, Senior Analyst

Health technology and health services continue to represent a significant part of DOD spending, requiring acquisition planning to keep pace.

The next wave of deployments for MHS GENESIS, the new electronic health record for the Military Health System (MHS), is slated to begin in 2020. By 2023, GENESIS will be deployed across all MHS. Meanwhile, the Defense Health Agency (DHA) is taking a closer look at acquisition vehicles and focus areas. With limited funding and enterprise contracts essentially status quo through 2020, agency executives are encouraging vendors to prepare now for 2021.

These were some of the takeaways from the recent 2019 Defense Health Information Technology Symposium in Orlando, Fla. Among the sessions, Tom McCaffery, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, discussed the future of the Military Health System. Read more of this post

Preparing for the Promise of 5G in the Federal Government

By Toné Mason, Senior Analyst

5G is here – still in its infancy, but here. The 5G that we hear about in day-to-day life is marketed for the general public: Faster phone service, quicker download times, seamless streaming. It’s a race to see which provider can get the service to your city first and which has the best new 5G-enabled phone.

The real promise of 5G, however, is the intelligence that it can enable and the lives that can be saved or enhanced by that intelligence. The biggest customer for intelligence enabled by 5G is, of course, the federal government. 5G can grow and reach its full potential through various applications in our government, heading ultimately towards real-time actionable information for virtually seamless decision-making.

Low latency and high bandwidth are the two most important things that are arriving with 5G. Low to near non-existent latency will allow for millisecond response times, reliable transmissions and multi-access edge computing. The increased bandwidth provided by 5G will be important in enhancing security measures and data encryption with minimal impact on network throughput speeds. Increased bandwidth also will lend itself to the further growth of the internet of things (IoT), allowing that technology to reach its full potential as well. Read more of this post

2019 Federal Data Strategy: Prioritizing Data as a Strategic Asset

By Toné Mason, Senior Analyst

In June of 2019, an update to the Federal Data Strategy was released including the final Principles and Practices and draft Year-1 Action Plan. The final Year-1 Action Plan is anticipated to be released in September.

Vendors should understand what’s in the plan and make sure they adapt their sales strategies and messaging to address the new plan goals:

  1. Enterprise Data Governance – The federal government needs to have a plan for how to best protect their data. This includes the formation of data policies, data protection strategies and a way to monitor for compliance. Quality and integrity of data will need to be protected and monitored as best as possible.
  2. Access, Use and Augmentation – Ensuring continuous and reliable access to data will be vital. Additionally, it will be key to make the visualization of data as user-friendly as possible and ensure that proper information silos are in place, whether for an application for the public or for soldiers on the ground.
  3. Decision Making & Accountability – There are vast amounts of diverse types of data currently not being utilized. Preparing this data to be consumed can be extremely challenging. Transforming this data into actionable, real-time intelligence to inform decision making is the end goal and is even more challenging.
  4. Commercialization, Innovation and Public Use – Making federal data assets available to external stakeholders in an easy-to-use format is a key priority. This will facilitate the creation of new applications where advanced technologies and visualization techniques can be applied to transform the data into useful, consumable information for a wide range of use cases.

Read more of this post

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