Will Apps for the Army pave the way?

Lt. Gen. Jeff Sorenson will discuss the Apps for the Army contest on a DoDLive Bloggers Roundtable, Aug 4, 2010, at 10:30am eastern. (Image: US Army)

Lt. Gen. Jeff Sorenson will discuss the Apps for the Army contest on a DoD Bloggers Roundtable, Aug 4, 2010, at 10:30am eastern. (Image: US Army)

Edric Thompson is a public affairs specialist with the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, located at Fort Monmouth, N.J.

Lt. Gen. Jeff Sorenson, the Army Chief Information Officer/G-6, will be conducting a Bloggers Roundtable at 10:30 am eastern this morning to discuss the Apps for the Army (A4A) contest. It should be an interesting discussion as he’ll also have some of the winners joining him.

I’ll be listening because several of our engineers at the Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC) provided support throughout the A4A competition.

Members of our Software Oriented Architecture Center of Excellence, or CERDEC SOA COE, interviewed applicants, served as technical advisors, ensured that the applications ran correctly, performed certification testing to make sure there were no vulnerabilities, and configured the operating environments.

I hope they get a shout out for all their hard work!

But I’m also looking forward to hearing Lt. Gen. Sorenson’s thoughts regarding the way ahead. This is more than a simple contest. As Sorenson said in a recent press release, “This pilot program is helping define the business processes needed to make it easier to develop applications and certify software for the Army enterprise.”

The infrastructure our SOA team helped develop and the lessons learned from the contest will provide a new way to look at streamlining the way we purchase, deploy and certify applications software. In other words, it’s going to go a long way towards supporting Army Software Transformation (AST) strategic initiatives.

AST seeks to transform the way the Army defines, develops, tests, certifies and deploys software. The AST strategy establishes the path forward for drastically reducing the time to deliver relevant applications to the Warfighter.

The AST Strategy has three strategic initiatives: standardize end-user environments and software development toolkits, streamline enterprise software processes, and create an Army Software Marketplace – all of which were done during A4A.

Certification and accreditation in the acquisition cycle are labor intensive and take a long time, so if we can develop automated tools and processes, it will get capabilities to the Soldier more quickly.

I’m not sure what the way ahead will be; that’s not my call by any stretch of the imagination. But I am excited about the potential, and I hope this is something he will address. I’m also interested to hear others’ thoughts on this, too. Check out the Bloggers Roundtable and then share a post of your own!

To learn more about CERDEC, go to http://www.cerdec.army.mil, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Sign up for Armed with Science email alerts!