Department of Defense (DoD) Chief Information Officer (CIO) John Sherman on June 1 approved updates to agency guidance on buying software and digital technology that are better aligned with recent changes made to other statutes and policies that impact IT functions, a DoD spokesperson confirmed to MeriTalk.

The 2020 version of the DoD Instruction 5000.82, Acquisition of Information Technology, was annulled and replaced by the latest iteration Sherman approved, Acquisition of Digital Capabilities.

The updated guidance sets the policies and requirements for DoD entities’ procurement of digital assets. Specifically, the document:

  • Establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and provides procedures for the acquisition of digital capabilities;
  • Assigns program responsibilities concerning the acquisition of digital capabilities for the acquisition pathways of the adaptive acquisition framework; and
  • Describes the responsibilities and procedures of principal acquisition officials in the acquisition of programs containing information technology, including national security systems within DoD authorities and across all acquisition pathways.

Among the new additions to the document are sections related to software and cloud infrastructure acquisitions. Those include directives for DoD components to take full advantage of cloud services in alignment with, and to achieve the goals of the DoD Digital Modernization Strategy.

It also directs DoD components to ensure that “no new system or application will be approved for development or modernization without an assessment that such a system or application is already cloud-hosted without compromising the security or integrity of the capability or service delivery.”

The document also lists new responsibilities for the acquisition of digital technology, including directing the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment to provide the necessary research, technology development, and technical advice to the DoD CIO and the Commander of the United States Cyber Command.

According to the DoD, the new responsibilities were a result of realigning policy content to organizational charter updates.

The latest iteration is one element of the Department’s Adaptive Acquisition Framework, which supports the Defense Acquisition System to deliver effective, suitable, survivable, sustainable, and affordable solutions to the end user promptly.

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