The Department of Defense (DoD) has released a plan to implement the goals of the agency’s Software Modernization Strategy and develop capabilities to streamline software delivery efforts.

On February 1, 2022, the Deputy Secretary of Defense approved and signed the DoD Software Modernization Strategy which intends to set the department on a path to deliver resilient software capability at the speed of relevance.

DoD Chief Information Officer (CIO) John Sherman, approved the Software Modernization Implementation Plan on Mach 30, the department said Tuesday. The implementation plan – which is directly aligned with the Software Modernization Strategy – responds to a follow-on call to action for implementing the goals of the strategy.

The DoD Software Modernization Strategy and Implementation Plan recognize that software is essential to modern military operations, the Pentagon said.

“From business systems to weapons systems, software defines our military capabilities, enabling us to detect and track adversaries, protect operations from cyber threats, and improve the accuracy and effectiveness of decisions and actions,” DoD said in a press release.

The plan outlines the foundation that will help facilitate the continuous planning and management of the agency’s software modernization goals, including priority tasks for fiscal years 2023 and 2024.

It identifies key activities, near-term milestones, and responsibilities for driving the process improvements and capabilities needed to achieve the department’s software modernization vision:

  • Accelerate the DoD Enterprise Cloud Environment;
  • Establish a Department-wide Software Factory Ecosystem; and
  • Transform Processes to Enable Resilience and Speed.

The release of the modernization plan comes just days after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report urging the DoD to take action to modernize its software technologies, policies, and workforce.

According to the report, the DoD’s ability to respond to evolving threats is increasingly determined by its efforts to modernize software-intensive systems – such as weapons and IT systems. However, GAO said the DoD needs to do more to reach its software modernization goals.

Among the recommendations GAO made was that DoD finalizes implementation plans for future software modernization efforts.

GAO also recommended that DoD develop a software workforce plan. The plan released by DoD this week includes several efforts to develop and expand the digital workforce. For example, under goal three of the plan, DoD plans to recruit and retain world-class software talent and provide foundational software development, digital threat, artificial intelligence, and cyber training.

The plan’s tasks to develop and expand the digital workforce align with strategic efforts outlined in the 2023-2025 DoD Cyber Workforce Strategy.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.