The Defense Department Software Modernization Strategy was published Feb. 1.
Delivering a more lethal force requires the ability to evolve faster and be more adaptable than adversaries, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen H. Hicks said.
The department's adaptability increasingly relies on software and the ability to securely and rapidly deliver resilient software capability. That is a competitive advantage that will define future conflicts, she said.
"Transforming software delivery times from years to minutes will require significant change to our processes, policies, workforce and technology," Hicks said.
The offices of the chief information officer, the undersecretaries of defense for acquisition and sustainment and research and engineering, as well as the software modernization senior steering group are involved in efforts to operationalize the strategy.
The goal, according to the strategy, is to provide cybersecure development, security and operations in software factories, as well as cloud services and faster delivery of software in support of critical data and communications — most notably, Joint All-Domain Command and Control and artificial intelligence.
Deputy Chief Information Officer for Information Enterprise Danielle Metz spoke to Federal News Network about the new strategy.
"I don't think it makes a lot of sense to separate software modernization from cloud adoption because it would imply that software could be modernized without cloud. By placing the cloud at the center of the technology enablers of the strategy, it absolutely affirms the importance of cloud and why we want the department to move and migrate to the cloud," she said.
The primary driver of the new strategy, she said, is harnessing the power of cloud computing, being able to build applications continuously, improved cybersecurity, and having "the ability to have technology at the fingertips of our warfighter as opposed to delivering a hardware intensive platform."
The workforce is absolutely critical to the strategy, along with training, business transformation and user buy-in, Metz said.
"If we had all the money in the world to buy the best technology and we had the right processes in place to be able to get the needed technology at the time of consumption, but our workforce and our warfighters did not know how to use the technology to be able to execute their mission, we failed," she said.
Metz said implementation plans for the new strategy will be delivered as early as this summer.