DOD works communication issues for transformation

Communications among people, not technology, is the key to the successful transformation of Defense Department’s business systems.

“The challenge is that we have multiple systems being developed in parallel,” said Prashant Gaur, director of enterprise integration at the Defense Business Transformation Agency (BTA) at a breakfast event sponsored by Federal Sources. “How do we move them together?”

The integration of financial and logistics systems is a major goal of DOD business transformation, Gaur said, as is the consolidation and rationalization of redundant financial, logistics and human resources systems.

“The Enterprise Services Group is where it all comes together,” he added. “Communications is the key.”

The group, a BTA unit on which Gaur serves, works with the armed services and Defense agencies to raise the visibility of BTA priorities.

“When program managers realize they need to do this, they show results quickly,” Gaur said.

Gaur said DOD’s technology model is moving toward a service-oriented architecture characterized by loosely coupled and reusable application components.

But, he added, “having lived through [enterprise resource planning] and business intelligence implementations, the issues and challenges that make these things successful remain the same: governance and data standards. Without them, you can have the best technology but it will not work. You can’t have shared services without the systems understanding the same language.”

BTA’s assessment of the progress of transformation projects also takes on a very human scale. Through its enterprise risk assessment methodology, the agency sends teams to interview program managers.

“The truth comes out when you look someone in the eye,” Gaur said.

Gaur considers the future of DOD business transformation safe, regardless of potential political changes in Washington.

“We have support among Republicans and Democrats,” he said. “We enjoy good relationships with the [Government Accountability Office] and the armed services. We are seen as the change agents within DOD.”

Peter Buxbaum is a freelance writer in Bethesda, Md.



About the Author

Peter Buxbaum is a special contributor to Defense Systems.

Featured

  • Cybersecurity

    DHS floats 'collective defense' model for cybersecurity

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wants her department to have a more direct role in defending the private sector and critical infrastructure entities from cyberthreats.

  • Defense
    Defense Secretary James Mattis testifies at an April 12 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.

    Mattis: Cloud deal not tailored for Amazon

    On Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sought to quell "rumors" that the Pentagon's planned single-award cloud acquisition was designed with Amazon Web Services in mind.

  • Census
    shutterstock image

    2020 Census to include citizenship question

    The Department of Commerce is breaking with recent practice and restoring a question about respondent citizenship last used in 1950, despite being urged not to by former Census directors and outside experts.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.