As part of its strategy to move away from building large proprietary information technology applications in favor of buying packaged commercial applications, the Defense Information Systems Agency said today that it will use an Army contract to buy the commercial services instead of developing its own contract for the services.
DISA plans to buy off the Armyâ€™s Information Technology Enterprise Solutions-2 (ITES) contract, which offers services from 16 companies, to develop its next-generation Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) for use throughout the Defense Department. A SOA allows an organization to use software applications throughout an organization, rather than in just one business area. DISA views SOA as a means to speed the delivery of new technology to DOD.
Bernie Skoch, a retired Air Force brigadier general who was principal director for customer advocacy at DISA and now a consultant for Suss Consulting, said DISAâ€™s decision to use the ITES contract instead of running its own procurement could save the agency as many as two years time in developing the SOA and free up acquisition personnel for other projects.
DISA and DOD plan to use SOA as the foundation for a new way to deliver information and data to users worldwide, modeled on commercial Web services such as Google and online travel sites, which bundle a wide variety of information into one Web site. DISA said it will use the ITES contract for development, deployment and operation of its Net-Centric Enterprise Services Architecture (NCES) program, which is designed to deliver a variety of services including military versions of instant messaging, Web-based chat systems and online conferencing. DISA awarded IBM a $16 million NCES contract last July for those services.