OTAs Are Heating Up in the DOD

Mark Wisinger_100x135By Mark Wisinger, senior analyst

Every program manager and acquisition professional in DOD has been leveraging the newest buzzword: OTA, which stands for Other Transaction Authority. OTAs have been in the acquisition arsenal for years, but Congress just recently relaxed rules and restrictions on their use, paving the way for OTAs to be the new hot method for rapid technology insertion and piloting. The Office of the Undersecretary of Acquisition and Sustainment recently has been working on an OTA handbook to help guide DOD acquisition professionals on the do’s and don’ts of this newly revitalized procurement method. It’s no surprise we’re starting to see the use of more and more OTAs.

According to Bloomberg Government, DOD accounted for $2.1B of $2.3B spent through OTAs in 2017. The Army has been a leader in DOD driving most of the OTA usage increases to date, concentrated in the Army Materiel Command, although the Army Cyber Command’s use of OTAs is growing. The Defensive Cyber Operations office, within Army’s PEO EIS is setting up a new OTA vehicle known as C-RAPID, which will be targeting rapid piloting and insertion of defensive cyber tools. Companies that sign on to the consortium will field between 6 and 24 Army technology requests a year for defensive cyber tools.

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Everything you need to know about Army’s cyber strategy

Stephanie Melonicybersecurity, DOD, ArmyBy Stephanie Meloni, consultant

With more than $8 billion requested in cyber-specific funding across the Department of Defense for FY19, cyber is top of mind for DOD leadership. It’s no secret the Army has struggled with protecting and strengthening its networks, and there are numerous modernization programs in the works that fall outside of higher-profile items like WIN-T for the tactical network.

One overarching program that will be vital to the Army’s cyber operations will Defensive Cyber Operations (DCO). This is a relatively new office that was stood up in early 2017 at the Army’s Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS).

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Federal IoT market to reach $3B by FY18

Mark Wisinger

By Kevin Shaker and Mark Wisinger, senior analysts

The internet of things today is what cloud was five to six years ago. A lot of people are interested in it and buying IT solutions that comprise IoT in disparate ways.

This is an exciting time for the IT industry because companies can influence how the market is shaped since it’s still so new. IoT is not a discrete technology but rather a wrapper encompassing many different technologies, and these solutions are ramping up in a big way through the growing amount of sensors and data.

The big picture projection is that $6 trillion will be spent on devices and IoT software across all industries in the next five years, according to Business Insider’s Business Intelligence research. We predict the federal IoT addressable market will hit $3 billion in FY18, up from $2.5 billion spent in FY16.

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What you need to know about Army’s IT modernization strategy

By Stephanie Meloni, senior consultant

The Army views multi-domain operations as the future operating concept it needs to gain a competitive advantage against adversaries.

Despite the possibility of receiving increased funding under a new administration, the Army will largely be focused on readiness, as opposed to modernization. Readiness ensures that soldiers have proper training and equipment, while modernization would mean investing in new capabilities and technologies.

The good news for the IT industry is that multi-domain operations is a concept that addresses both modernization and readiness. And it will ultimately help the warfighter out-maneuver adversaries in land, cyber and intelligence. (You can hear more in my recent on-demand webinar on the Army’s IT Modernization Plan.)

Implementing multi-domain operations will entail significant changes to enterprise architecture and networking infrastructure to give the Army the flexibility it needs when it comes to configuration management and data sharing. This concept is all about data integration—and performing analysis on the data itself. Here are some ways the Army will be using its data to improve operations:

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Software defined networking gains government ground

Kevin Shaker_65 x 85SDN is taking shape in government; read immixGroup's blog for more!

By Kevin Shaker, analyst

Software Defined Networking (SDN) is making headway in next-generation government infrastructure, creating opportunities for technology companies that want to target this new growth area.

Much of SDN’s public sector growth has come from increasing demands from Congress to reduce costs while continuing to deliver new and innovative services to a growing and diverse citizen base. Unfortunately, many agencies are still relying on outdated legacy infrastructure.

SDN allows public sector organizations to create multiple virtual networks from a single physical one. While some organizations have already implemented fully-functional software defined networks, others are just beginning to scratch the surface.

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What Really is the Future of Cloud?

Chris Wiedemann_65 x 85FEF photoBy Chris Wiedemann, Consultant

There’s a real chance that 5-10 years from now, the way we deliver technology to government will fundamentally change. We just need to make sure we can maintain the same level of partnership and focus on the government mission, while providing the same level of choice in what the technology industry has to offer.

That was my answer to “What is the future of cloud?”—one of the many discussions among industry and government cloud experts at the recent Federal Executive Forum on Secure Cloud Computing in Government 2016. The radio program was broadcast on Federal News Radio with moderator Jim Flyzik directing the conversation.

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Opportunities on the Horizon within DISA Part 1

Lloyd McCoy_65x85by Lloyd McCoy Jr., Consultant

This week DISA’s Director of Strategic Planning and Information, Tony Montemarano, met with industry partners to give an update on DISA’s major initiatives in the pipeline. As I pointed out in a Webinar earlier this year, DISA is at the heart of major enterprise wide initiatives for DOD; in addition to legacy roles like command and control, hosting, and telecommunications, newer initiatives like DOD Enterprise Portal Service, Defense Enterprise Mobility (classified and unclassified), Enterprise Directory Services, Unified Communications, and Global Network Services provide a wealth of opportunities for COTS vendors. Today I’ll be diving into Mr. Montemarano’s update on how DISA is faring in this fiscal environment and what the agency is doing in the areas of cloud procurement.

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