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with its technological goals. He told FCW that the main problem is a lack of wide- spread, mandated workforce training in agile software development.
Officials think that “moving fast means you’re going to fail drastically and create massive trouble when, effec- tively, if it’s small incremental delivery and you see what sticks and you have the right baked-in security and DevSec-’s actually the only way to do business successfully,” Chaillan said.
He argued that so-called colorless money — funding not explicitly tied to a specific appropriation category or military component — should be the way DOD does business. Additionally, he said, the department needs to foster true joint collaboration on key tech- nologies, such as cloud architecture, AI and DevSecOps, and those teams
should report directly to the secretary of defense.
“It’s not just money, it’s talent,” Chail- lan said. “We keep saying we have more money than China. No, we waste 90 cents on the dollar, so we don’t really have more money than China.”
Lt. Gen. Dennis Crall, director of command, control, communications and computers/cyber and CIO for the Joint Staff, echoed that sentiment and said DOD wastes money by not using modern software development practices.
“Technology is not my problem in this area,” Crall said at the National Defense Industrial Association’s sympo- sium in July. “We waste a lot of money by bringing things in that have all the right protocols and development, but we probably have dozens of developers’ toolkits.... We don’t have good records
management for some of these things so it’s hard to trust them.... If this has been tested under these protocols and these standards, then the answer is you will have reciprocity and you won’t spend the money to retest them.”
The term “DevSecOps” has almost become pejorative because the meth- odology is often used incorrectly, Crall said, adding that officials need to clear- ly define and standardize the approach across DOD.
Chaillan said DOD could also improve security and accountability by being its own integrator of modu- lar open systems instead of having companies do that work. “We need to understand enough to make architec- tural decisions,” he said. “And when you start playing with Lego blocks instead of a big system, you want to
The Department of Defense’s budgeting can be bafflingly complex, and restrictions designed to facilitate oversight and accountability are often at odds with the realities of developing and delivering modern software solutions.
Budget authority is generally restricted to a set time frame, a particular component of a service branch or DOD agency, and
a specific purpose. This chart approximates the “colors” of the Army’s budget request for fiscal year 2021. While IT spending can fall into every category except Military Personnel, only Research, Development,Test & Evaluation dollars come with the flexibility that most say modern software development needs.
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