If your CFO revealed that you'd have more than $38 billion to spend on your IT department or systems, you'd think you just received the equivalent of a blank check, right? Well, that's the amount requested by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) for fiscal-year 2012. Before you let your imagination take wing, however, this report from INPUT/Deltek Information Systems
puts it all in perspective. Despite the hefty dollar amount, the report reveals that the DoD is firmly focused on increasing IT efficiencies and consolidation in a challenging funding environment. In other words: Military CIOs and IT departments face the same budget struggles as CIOs and IT leaders in private sector. In particular, DoD agencies are being directed to pursue efficiency and consolidation initiatives in the areas of service-oriented architecture, command-and-control network systems and "green" technology. In the end, given the pure scale of our military agencies, that $38 billion is hardly a windfall. "Tight budgets facilitate efficiency, in that [they force] prioritization," says Deniece Peterson, senior manager of federal industry analysis within Deltek's INPUT business unit. "However, some of the prerequisites for deploying solutions to drive efficiency -- such as cloud computing -- require significant work to standardize the DoD's IT environment, all with security still in mind." Here are selected highlights from the report.