An Assessment of the National Security Software Industrial Base
October 19, 2006
The ability of the Department of Defense (DoD) to meet its software challenges depends on both the user-driven requirements and demands for software-driven functionality, the quantity and quality of the software resources available to DoD, as well as the Department’s ability to efficiently utilize the resources of its supporting defense industrial and Information Technology (IT) base. In order to formulate sound policy geared towards meeting these software challenges, a thorough and unassailable understanding of the environment in which software acquisition operates is an absolute prerequisite. Accordingly, at the direction of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology & Logistics, the Defense Industrial Initiatives Group at the Center for Strategic and International Studies has undertaken a comprehensive study to assess DoD’s demand for software and the ability of the U.S.’ defense industrial base and IT sector to satisfy DoD’s software requirements. The impetus behind this study is to determine to what degree supply and demand imbalances, if they do in fact exist, are a causal factor in the significant cost overruns and program delays that have figured prominently in DoD software and software intensive systems acquisitions; a problem that, it should be noted, is by no means restricted to DoD acquisitions. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the number one reason for defense program development slippages and cost overages is in fact related to problems encountered in fielding the accompanying software to the various systems.