It is undeniable that defense acquisition reform has ushered in a new reality for prime contractors. Firm-fixed-price contract awards, shorter time lines, open-system architectures, the demand for greater value—these are just a few of the game-changing challenges now facing primes.
In the coming decade, the mantra of doing more without more could become one of the defining hallmarks of military communications—not only for the United States, but also among the nation’s coalition partners and allies.
A variation of cloud computing one day could lead to the benefits of the cloud being extended to troops on the battlefield, or to humanitarian relief workers, no matter where they operate. These microclouds would be generated by small computer servers running on devices as small as a high-capacity universal serial bus thumb drive attached to a laptop computer.
Top U.S. military officials are warning that the current fiscal crisis is the single biggest threat to the country’s national security. And, the most critical concern facing the United States is ensuring that it has the resources necessary to maintain its security globally—and that it is prepared for the challenges ahead.
A smartphone that engages in conversations is the next perturbation that will dictate how the U.S. Defense Department needs to revise its information management practices. The effects of this new technology will reverberate from individual communications protocols all the way to data architectures.
The U.S. government has released a road map to cloud computing that is designed to tackle some key issues, establish priorities and provide a clear path for government agencies and industry. The draft publication defines high-priority requirements for standards, official guidance and technology developments that need to be met for agencies to accelerate their migration of existing information technology systems to the cloud computing model.