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Army Software Transformation: Delivering Applications to the Warfighter

February 16, 2010

During nine years of conflict, facing agile and adaptable enemies, the U.S. Army has continued its transformation using lessons learned on the battle - field. Information technology—including that avail - able to opponents—continues to advance rapidly, but the Army’s technology applications are not keeping pace. To address this problem, the Army has devel - oped a strategy to transform the way it acquires and implements computer software solutions.

Speeding up the Army’s software acquisition process will require fundamental changes. With that in mind, the Army’s senior leadership has launched Army Software Transformation, 2 an effort to radical - ly decrease the time it takes to deliver relevant appli - cations across the force. This will be accomplished using an enterprise approach that makes better use of the Army’s limited resources and aligns all insti - tutional assets to respond to dynamic operational re - quirements.

Success in this effort will require radical reformation of business models and processes,3 and the Army is looking to private industry for lessons learned and best practices that it can adopt. Innova - tive approaches such as those in use at Apple’s App Store, agile development processes employed by cor - porations like eBay and platform standardization are key to increasing the pace of technology innovation. The evolution of smartphones in recent years illus - trates the effect the Army is trying to achieve: each generation takes only months to develop and delivers more capabilities (both improved built-in functional - ity and increased access to inexpensive applications) for less money.