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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How and where to do business in the Navy: Part I

Lloyd McCoy Jr.

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.

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Navy Operations Fueled by Data

Stephanie Meloni_65x85NavyOperations_062116By Stephanie Meloni, Consultant

The Navy is launching two new ventures that will produce significant opportunities for networking, infrastructure, and ultimately, big data and analytics tech companies. With Task Force Cyber Awakening, the organization used an agile, collaborative effort to help the Navy adapt quickly to cyber challenges; and now it’ll be using the same approach to help the organization become more interoperable.

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3 Ways Industry Can Help Government Cloud Adoption

Lloyd McCoy Jr.By Lloyd McCoy Jr., DOD Manager

If you attended our recent Cloud Briefing & GCloud Briefing 41216-3overnment Panel, you likely heard a recurring message from the federal leaders who spoke: They need help from industry.

Moving to the cloud has been a bigger challenge than expected as summed up by Office of the DOD CIO cloud lead Robert Vietmeyer, who spoke on our government panel: “This stuff is hard. Leadership is bought into your marketing pitch,” he told attendees, largely representing cloud providers. “We all want better, faster, cheaper. We just found it’s more difficult to get from where we are today to where we all want to be.”

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Navy Creating Waves of Change in IT Security, Infrastructure, and Mobility

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Lloyd McCoy_65x85by Lloyd McCoy Jr., Consultant

Recently I attended an AFCEA luncheon with Janice Haith, the deputy CIO for the Navy; her remarks provided valuable insights on where the Navy stands with IT reform, specifically in the areas of security, infrastructure, and mobility. From possibly doing away from NIPRNET to challenges in consolidation efforts, I thought I would share some highlights with you:

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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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FY15 Defense IT Budget Forecast: Cloudy with No Chance of Sequestration

Lloyd McCoy_65x85by Lloyd McCoy Jr., Consultant

The FY15 base DOD budget request came in at $495.6 billion, (about even with FY14) but more importantly, it’s under OMB’s budgetary caps, meaning sequestration isn’t in the cards for this year. Diving into the DOD IT budget, we see a 6% drop from FY14 to about $36.4 billion; fortunately, much of this decline has to do with a shrinking workforce and cost-savings generated by earlier IT investments.

Soldier with Flag Draped in BackgroundYes the budget is down 6% from last year, but before you go running for the hills, it’s important to remember the following: while the IT budget is reduced from FY14, agencies that purchased software are continuing to purchase software— and with no sequestration and government shutdown in sight, we’re positioned to see a better FY15 than we did FY13.

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