Fiscal Reality May Force Long-Needed IT Acquisition Changes

November 6, 2009
By Robert K. Ackerman
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Budgetary pressure may force the military to change the way it procures communications and information systems. The result may be the elimination of duplicative systems and interoperability problems. Lt. Gen. Robert Shea, USMC (Ret.), executive vice president, Smartronix, former J-6, the Joint Staff, pointed out that, too often, respective services build different systems for similar capabilities at the operations level. Budgetary pressures may render that approach a luxury, and thereby force military planners to do some of the things that the services and agencies haven't been doing themselves. Gen. Shea told the audience at a TechNet Asia-Pacific 2009 panel on defining requirements that, to ensure that the right capabilities reach the user, requirements people should be kept tightly engaged throughout the entire process. They should be part of any discussions of tradeoffs, he emphasized.

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