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[infowar.de] USA: Modernisierung des Militärs bringt große Nachfrage im IT-Markt
Recht guter Überblick mit einigen Zahlen aus dem geplanten IT-Budget des
Pentagons für 2003:
$3 Mrd. für "intelligence and communications", mehr als $100 Mio. für
unbemannte Flugkörper (UAVs) und ca. $500 Mio. für sensorgesteuerte
February 25, 2002
Military transformation opens up new IT market
By William New, National Journal's Technology Daily
The Defense Department is seeking to return to its Reagan-era budgetary
might, but the spending of the future will look different. While the
department still will build big ships and airplanes, top Defense
officials are pushing a "transformation" of the military toward more
efficient internal systems and weapons driven by information technology.
Such a transformation spells opportunity for the nation's IT sector,
which is looking for ways to contribute to the nation's security and for
products to help it recover economically, industry sources say.
"What we're seeing is a whole array of companies stepping forward with
technology solutions," said David Colton, vice president for strategic
initiatives at the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA).
"Companies are looking at both homeland defense and the Department of
Defense as opportunities. Since Sept. 11, the tempo has picked up."
"There's a certain patriotism that's being felt and seen," said Rhett
Dawson, president of the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI).
"In addition, it is obviously a growing market at a time when the IT
market has been flat. It's a combination of enlightened self-interest
and trying to do the right thing for your country."
Super Power, Superior Weapons
While many observers question whether the details of the big boost in
Defense spending in fiscal 2003 reflect a full commitment to
transformation, President Bush proposed substantive funds for IT-related
projects. The detailed Defense budget breakout on information technology
is due for release in March.
Examples of transformation in the budget proposal include $3 billion for
intelligence and communications, more than $100 million for unmanned
aerial vehicles (UAVs) and about $500 million for sensor-based combat
systems, with remote artillery firing for the Army, according to Dan
Heinemeier, president of the Government Electronics and Information
Technology Association (GEIA). GEIA is the federal market sector of the
Electronic Industries Alliance.
In the much-regarded Quadrennial Defense Review Report (QDR), Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said the transformation process would "require
a longstanding commitment" but at the same time "must be embraced in
earnest today" because the nation is under immediate threat. The report
was issued weeks after the September 11 terrorist attacks, and it shows
the intent of the department to transform itself has intensified since
The transformation is necessary to keep the U.S. military ahead of its
adversaries, officials say. "For the United States, the [technological]
revolution in military affairs holds the potential to confer enormous
advantages and to extend the current period of U.S. military
superiority," the QDR said.
Defense officials such as Vice Adm. Arthur Cebrowski, the director of
force transformation, say that transforming the military largely
involves changing its "state of mind" to one that is more like a
business. It also involves using advanced technologies to gather
intelligence, manage information and develop more effective, less
Edward "Pete" Aldridge, the Defense undersecretary for acquisition,
technology and logistics, said last week that a secure, global
information backbone of "unlimited depth and global reach" will be
Ripe IT Harvest
A strong emphasis is being placed on the interoperability of technology
systems. Lt. Gen. Bruce Carlson, the director of force structure,
resources and assessment, said at a conference last week that a $600
million charge was required in fiscal 2002 to get a previously purchased
system to "talk" with others. Aldridge said interoperability "has to be
checked off now as a criterion."
Another area of focus is reducing the cycle times for developing and
deploying defense technology. "When our acquisition cycle is several
times greater than industry's, there is something wrong," Cebrowski said
Heinemeier cited several defense-related growth areas for the IT
industry in the post-Sept. 11 environment. One is information assurance,
or providing security to the military services for the obtaining and
transmitting of information. Another is biometrics, which allows
testing, for example, for certain substances in the air or water.
Intrusion-detection systems present another opportunity. The services
are becoming more aggressive in protecting critical infrastructure so
that it is available to war-fighters and not hacked, Heinemeier said.
An example of a new information system is the Navy-Marine Corps
Intranet, a secure global intranet for internal communications that is
wholly outsourced to EDS to act as the systems integrator. Other
services are looking at the concept, which was funded by Congress and
mostly is expected to be online by June 2003. "Information assurance and
protecting the intranet are all aspects of transforming the military to
allow it to be more Internet-enabled," Heinemeier said.
A GEIA five-year forecast of the information assurance market for
Defense, civil agencies and the commercial sector showed growth from
$17.6 billion in 2001 to $61.8 billion in 2006. Ninety percent is from
the commercial sector, but GEIA predicted that the government sector's
share would increase from $2.6 billion to $9.2 billion in 2006.
"We're very encouraged by the increased investment," Heinemeier said.
"IT and related systems are going to be way up."
Dogfight of the Future
ITAA also is looking "very carefully" at transformation efforts,
according to Colton. In November, the organization launched a series of
events on the topic. "We think [transformation's] going to be long
term," he said.
"Transformation is not just about weapons platforms, but the unification
of what were once isolated components into unified battlefield
management," said Colton.
For example, in Tora Bora, Afghanistan, an unmanned plane with an IT
link synchronized with a gunship had a sensor that could feed data about
the target instantaneously into the gunship. "It was the first time in
human warfare there was almost zero delay between the sensor and
shooter," Colton said. Some envision the day when unmanned aircraft will
fight each other.
"There's no question that we see this as a shotgun opportunity for
deployment of new technologies," Colton said. "Since Sept. 11, I think
there is a huge desire [in the IT industry] to contribute."
"In a tight budget environment ... force transformation becomes a
necessity," he said. "It's our belief that technology is a 'force
multiplier' because you will have fewer platforms and they will need to
be more lethal, and the way to do that is through 'Net-centric'
A PricewaterhouseCoopers Endowment for the Business of Government report
on transformation in government procurement, issued this month, found
that Defense could save 25 percent in procurement and logistics alone by
implementing industry best practices and new technologies.
ITI also sees defense opportunities. "We look upon that as a huge market
for us," Dawson said. "It's a natural market for us [because the
military invented the Internet and invested in information technology].
A lot of things we are about today are part of that legacy."
Dawson said that contracts are found in various ways, from taking orders
out of a catalogue to helping implement the millions of transactions of
the Defense healthcare system. But he and others added that the IT
industry is struggling to break in among established defense
contractors. "Our companies are spending more time [at the Pentagon],"
Dawson said. "[The military] can be a very demanding customer."
Dawson predicted that making Defense operate like a world-class
corporation would take 15 to 20 years. "Most corporations don't have to
deal with a bunch of shareholders like the Congress," he said.
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