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Guest Blog: Budget Impact on Developing COTS Systems

March 25, 2013
By Michael Carter

The current driving force in the military and defense environment is to keep legacy systems operating longer, or the replacement of legacy systems with new systems that emulate one or more legacy systems with commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology. However, there is insufficient budget to fund development of these COTS systems, and the burden of development falls upon private industry. The current sequestration environment adds another burden on industry to perform to the needs of the military, but without the benefit of nonrecurring engineering (NRE) costs being reimbursed. Programs although already funded (but not the NRE, as it is not initially funded) are being put on hold, cancelled, or are in a state of non-deterministic outcome.

Military and defense program managers and private industry face an uphill battle to find the intersection of needs, available resources and the expenditure of development costs. Small companies are at a distinct disadvantage when they develop technology to support the replacement of legacy systems when they are forced to use their own development resources without compensation and are not awarded a contract for production.

Whether a fixed-price, cost-plus, or IDIQ contract, the above scenario is increasingly commonplace in the face of budget constraints and sequestration. The burden on small companies doesn’t stop there; military program managers are also demanding engineering support without compensation for engineering-sustaining efforts, again without the presence of a production contract.

Although many systems are characterized as COTS, there are demands on the developer to perform military environment qualification testing, again without funding and no guarantee of a production contract.

Law Enforcement in the Cloud

March 14, 2013
By Rick Hansen

The Regional Information Sharing Systems (RISS) Program recently implemented a simplified sign-on capability that enables federal, state and local law enforcement to collaborate.

 

The Most Important Things

June 11, 2012
By Dan Ward

 The Air Force Chief of Staff had but three critical requirements for the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM): "It should work; it should hit the target; and it should cost under $40,000 each." If only every requirements document could fit on a sticky note!

Memorial Day Musings

May 25, 2012
By Jonathan Cisneros

For those who have lost their lives and for the Wounded Warriors that now have long roads to recovery, we owe them the homage and the support they ultimately deserve.

Health Care 'Big Data' Is a Big Opportunity to Address Data Overload

April 11, 2012
By Roger Foster, SIGNAL Scape Guest Blogger

We are drowning in health care data, but remain thirsty for information. Driven by federal incentives, public and private healthcare institutions have generated billions of electronic health records (EHRs), rich with clinical and demographic data. This data can be aggregated and analyzed to improve scientific research, drug safety and overall public health. However, the growth in health care data is so fast that issues surrounding data storage, integrity, modeling and sharing can diminish its tremendous potential. Guest blogger Roger Foster of DRC looks at this important health IT issue.

5 New Year's Cyber Resolutions for Federal Agencies

December 21, 2011
By Dan Barber

From securing the cloud to unwrapping new architecture compliance requirements, 2011 was a busy year for the tech public sector. In the New Year's spirit of renewal and rededication, here are 5 resolutions federal agencies should make.

Information Leaks Can Sink Agencies

December 2, 2011
By Prenston Gale

Thousands of data breaches occur as a result of internal information leakage rather than an outside attack. There is a critical need to further educate government personnel on how to keep sensitive information secure. Guest blogger Prenston Gale weighs in with insight on how to achieve this important goal.

Sharing, Mentoring and the Changing World of Work

September 15, 2011
By Jennifer Miller

"Let's do lunch?" is a phrase many mock; others use it as much as possible to gain invaluable insight from personal experiences and get feedback about present actions and future aspirations. As an intern, I have a limited perspective of the Department of Defense and rely heavily on the guidance of others when contemplating different career ideas, experience opportunities and developmental paths or programs to pursue.

The Real Agents of Change

July 25, 2011
By Christine Robinson

We presently are experiencing intense pressure not to raise the debt ceiling, prophecies about the downfall of government IT, more legislators considering reducing the once-sacred defense budget, and prophecies of gloom and doom relating to government programs in general. Despite this, a number of leaders and real change agents both in government and outside government offer us some real hope and shining examples.

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