An Analysis of Information Systems Technology Initiatives and Small Businesses in the DoD SBIR Program
Ryburn, Sean H.
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In order to address rising costs, limited innovation, and an acquisition system that lacks the flexibility to design and field best-of-breed information technology systems, the Department of Defense (DoD) has implemented open systems architecture (OSA) initiatives in information technology acquisition. One benefit of open systems architecture is that it expands competition to many suppliers, including small businesses, to enhance innovation and reduce costs. The growing acceptance of open systems architecture initiatives in DoD acquisition creates a significant access opportunity for small businesses, particularly for those who already participate in the existing DoD Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, which is congressionally mandated to provide research and development contracts specifically to innovative small businesses. However, successfully leveraging the SBIR program to advance open systems architecture initiatives requires that the DoD proactively communicate that intent to small businesses participating in the program. This research examines the extent to which the DoD uses the SBIR program to incorporate small businesses in the acquisition of IT systems that advance open systems initiatives. Additionally, this research analyzes SBIR firms to better understand participant experiences as well as the characteristics of small IT businesses that participate in the DoD SBIR program to meet the IT R&D challenges of the DoD.
NPS Report NumberNPS-IT-12-178
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