Transforming Business operations at the Defense Department

Thursday - 6/28/2012, 12:19pm EDT

Full Panel Discussion

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Segment 1

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Segment 2

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Segment 3

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Typically, business transformation comes from two main sources, new technology or budget pressures. In the 1990s, the draw down from the cold war ushered in the task order, multiple award contract era where agencies tried to move toward buying products and services more like their commercial counterparts. In the 2000s, the online or web revolution started the government to move from pushing information to citizens to creating a more transaction or two-way relationship.

Today, is one of the few times technology improvements and budget cuts are hitting agencies at the same time. The result of these two game-changers is a more dramatic change than we've seen previously. And just like previous eras, the Pentagon is taking a leading role in figuring out how new technologies can improve how they meet their mission and cut costs.

DoD is using cloud computing, mobile technology, virtualization and a host of other leading edge or cutting edge technologies to move money from tail to tooth to better support the warfighter.

A big reason why DoD, and many other agencies for that matter, can keep its head above water during these uncertain times is the more focused adoption of commercial technologies—whether for mobile computing such as smartphones or tablet computers, or the use of the public or government-only clouds provided by vendors.

DoD is in the midst of figuring how to do business differently in light of both the technology advancements and budget cuts that many say have come sooner and deeper than they expected.

Using commercial technologies is not new for DoD. It has been 15 years since Congress told the Pentagon to buy commercial products and services. By fiscal 2011, commercial acquisition procedures were used for almost one-fifth of all the contracting dollars DoD obligated — nearly 13 million contracts worth almost $75 billion. Since 2005, DoD funds spent on those simplified acquisitions have more than doubled.

But even with this huge push for buying commercial products, DoD's success has been inconsistent.

Today we will talk about how DoD is adapting, and how military leaders can take advantage of innovations in the commercial world to be more mobile and, in many ways simplify how they use their systems to meet their missions.

Moderator - Jason Miller - Executive Editor and Reporter with Federal News Radio



Panelists:

Gino Magnifico - CIO Army Contracting Command
Mark Goodge - Chief Technology Officer for Military Health Systems
Terry Edwards - Army ASA(ALT) Director Office of the Chief Engineer & CIO
Tim Solms - General Manager, US Department of Defense, Microsoft Corporation