PlugFest: Demonstrating Agile Enterprise Information System Acquisition
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A plug fest is an industry best practice for demonstrating information technology (IT) interoperability in a particular enterprise. Participants earn market share by proving to customers that modular vendor offerings add value out of the box while meeting architecture standards and specifications. The ability to share data effectively across distributed nodes with rapidly evolving state-of-the-art commercial information technology is a key netcentric goal of the defense community. However, the defense acquisition process has had little success achieving that goal for at least two reasons: acquisition strategies do not incentivize horizontal interoperability, and existing command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) IT infrastructure is not sufficient to support the most critical and demanding tactical edge scenarios. The Defense Enterprise will close these gaps by working with like-minded government organizations and commercial consortia to establish an open government-industry community incentivized to address them pragmatically. This community is working with the military operational community to expose critical tactical use cases. It will also continuously evolve open standards that leverage COTS IT; address military-specific requirements; and demonstrate value added, interoperability, and security in runtime. The Government will reduce bureaucratic barriers to implementing these components with demonstrated capabilities via proven approaches such as approved product lists (APL) and convenient pre-negotiated contract vehicles.
Chris Gunderson is a Research Associate at the Naval Postgraduate School. He is the principal investigator of the Open Enterprise Information System (OEIS) research initiative. This project sponsored by the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and executed in the Northern Virginia. The project objective is to help the government improve its flawed information technology acquisition process through four key activities: Establish a collaborative network of government, industry, and academic experts who have succeeded at some aspect of OEIS; Study Internet successful stories and distill the lessons learned; Embed lessons learned into familiar government acquisition artifacts; Work with early adopting pilot projects to verify, validate, refine, and document best practices
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