Skip to Main Content
In 2004, Congress directed the Center for Technology and National Security Policy (CTNSP) to develop a pilot program "to find practical ways in which the defense IT community can gain a mutual understanding of defense needs and industry capabilities and identify opportunities to integrate IT innovations in the U.S. military strategy." As context, this paper summarizes the nature of the problem, current Department of Defense (DoD) guidance on the issue, and current DoD methods to capture commercial IT. Subsequently, the paper identifies and discusses the major obstacles that impede DoD's use of commercial IT: non-attractiveness; non-transparency; non-agility; non-dominance; an isolating market; and attitudes of primes. In order to ameliorate these obstacles, a balanced mix of initiatives is recommended: 1) Enhance communications/organization (e.g., create a new organization at JFCOM to coordinate DoD's use of commercial IT); 2) Increase resource flexibility(e.g., provide combatant commands appropriate limited acquisition authority); 3) Decrease barriers (e.g., change DoD rules on intellectual property rights); 4) Stimulate cultural change(e.g., increase DoD education and training for commercial IT procurement); 5) Review testing (e.g., evaluate expanding "underwriter lab " testbeds); 6) Adapt requirements for specific missions(e.g.,undertake studies on the use of commercial IT in stabilization and reconstruction operations).