Military Embedded Systems

IT technology infrastructure hampered by budget cuts, business processes


October 18, 2012

Brandon Lewis

Technology Editor

Embedded Computing Design

According to a new report from the TechAmerica Foundation, budget cuts and possible sequestration coupled with internal governance and policies are among the problems facing defense agencies as they attempt an IT technology transformation, a transition that occurs roughly every 15 years. The current IT technology transformation is slated to address upgrades pertaining to virtualization, the cloud, and mobile capabilities, but current budget uncertainties have limited the government’s ability to invest.

Robert Haas, a spokesman for TechAmerica Foundation, commented on the organization’s annual industry forecast, stating “One of our interviews suggested that we wouldn’t see an increase in the IT budget until we saw the GDP tick above 3 percent…that’s taking into account all of these economic factors.”

According to Haas, one of the components leading to the strain is the need for business processing reengineering, as CIOs executing IT budgets currently split budget authority with CFOs. Speaking on process management for government IT systems he continued, “simply automating what you’ve got, without changing the way you do work or change the outcomes, isn’t going to be that valuable.”

While the Department of Defense (DoD) begins its shift out of Afghanistan, modernization is central to its future objectives. Among these efforts, Haas cited the transition to mobile warfare as an area in critical need of infrastructure upgrade.

“What we’re seeing with the infrastructure side of things that you’ve got to have that investment before you can support the mobile warfighter in the field,” Haas said of the importance of IT infrastructure to current DoD strategy. “They have people deployed in the field who need to be able to reach back into their base camp or station to access data, and it needs to be available on the network [at all times]. None of that’s possible unless you have the infrastructure.”


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