New report highlights open technology best practices in the military |

New report highlights open technology best practices in the military

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The military often finds itself in a sticky position with taxpayer-funded, contractor-developed software: one contractor with a monopoly on the knowledge of a military software system and with  effective control of the software source code. This creates inefficiencies for the government, reduction of opportunities for the industrial base, severely limits competition for new software upgrades, depletes resources that can be used to better effect and most importantly wastes taxpayer funds. So what is to be done?
In a new report out last week titled "Open Technology Development:Lessons Learned & Best Practices for Military Software," members of the defense industrial base put forward a how-to guide for effectively developing, deploying and managing open military systems. Snip from the report: 
"Software is the fabric that enables modern planning, weapons and logistics systems to function. For that reliance on software to be a strength, the military must actively manage its software portfolio and instill a culture of open interfaces, modularity and reuse.
In particular, the U.S. military must have software that is easily adaptable to changing mission needs and can be evolved rapidly and delivered quickly at lower costs to meet mission requirements in a timely manner.  This technological evolution entails a parallel evolution in acquisitions methodologies and corporate attitude to facilitate discovery, re-use, and modification of software across the military and U.S. Government.

Software might be the only infinitely renewable military resource. Capabilities evolve as new software is created anew or builds on existing software. From ground sensors to satellites, software is pervasive; it is the final expression of military knowledge transformed into source code and deployed on the battlefield."
The authors include John Scott, David Wheeler, J.C. Herz and Mark Lucas. 


Want to learn more? There will  be a conference to discuss these ideas and military open source software  in Atlanta, GA August 30th to September 1st.


About the author

John Scott - John Scott is a technologist with expertise in engineered systems and bridging the gap between decision-makers, scientists and engineers to develop policies for acquiring and deploying new technologies in the Department of Defense and US Government. He has focused his career on investigating and developing ideas for how large organizations design, construct and evolve extremely complex systems to meet National Security needs. John currently leads the Open Technology Development (OTD)...