What Is the DOD’s Software Modernization Strategy?
The new software modernization strategy includes three goals:
- Accelerate the DOD enterprise cloud environment. To do this, DOD will continue to move data to the cloud, use automation to speed up cloud adoption and prepare its IT infrastructure outside the U.S. mainland (a region also known as OCONUS) for migration to the cloud.
- Transform processes to enable resilience and speed. This will involve more agile acquisition, more involvement of the broader workforce beyond IT experts, the use of commercial off-the-shelf software for better efficiency and more incentives to use enterprise services.
- Establish a departmentwide software factory ecosystem.
What Is a Software Factory?
In a software factory environment, developers, users and management work together daily to create and assemble software tools. Automated building and testing uncovers issues with the software product quickly, and developers can resolve them equally quickly without slowing the process.
The environment supports multitenancy, another aspect that helps move software along in a timely manner. But to get the full benefit of a software factory’s capabilities, technology and process must converge seamlessly, and the multiple tenants must remain separate.
DOD has built a few software factories in the past several years. The Air Force’s Cloud One provides cloud computing services; its Kessel Run builds cloud-based warfighting software. The Navy’s Black Pearl, which defines itself as a “software service,” provides a Platform as a Service baseline and a DevSecOps platform that can be the foundation for other software factories.
Still, says Danielle Metz, DOD’s deputy CIO for information enterprise, these are the exception, not the rule. The new modernization strategy and its focus on software factories will enable the department to develop a wider environment where they can thrive.
“The idea of doing software modernization in DevSecOps is nothing new,” she said in a February media briefing. “What we really wanted to be able to do was to elevate that mindset across the board, so that it could be a department endeavor and not just pockets of excellence.
“We really wanted to be able to democratize exceptionalism, and that's taking us to the next level,” she added. “It’s not just a back-office function; it truly is something that allows us to be able to execute our mission.”