Planned FY 2018 Army Technology Investments - Part 1
Published: July 26, 2017
Part one of a four part analysis of Army’s planned FY 2018 investments in big data, cloud, and cyber security.
The Army has been a pivotal partner for the Defense Information Systems Agency in standing up the Defense Department’s new Joint Information Environment (JIE). In addition to being the first military department to migrate behind DoD’s new Joint Regional Security Stacks (JRSS), the Army has launched an on-premise cloud pilot at Redstone Arsenal, and developed a data strategy that will eventually enable the service to leverage advanced analytics on an enterprise level. Given the Army’s evolution in these areas, today’s post will be the first in a four-part series exploring the Procurement and Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) dollars that the Army intends to invest in projects with cloud computing, big data, and/or cyber security dimensions, what we call “related” spending, in fiscal Year 2018.
An analysis of the Army’s FY 2018 Procurement and RDT&E budget documentation for keywords and terms related to the specific technologies yielded the numbers here. Unfortunately, the granularity of the data does not always go into spending specific to cloud, big data, and cyber, so the numbers provided should be considered approximate. In addition, the fact that some programs might contain all three technologies means that the requested funding for those programs has been included in total under each technology area.
The chart below provides an overview of the combined Procurement and RDT&E spending and requested budgets for FY 2016-FY 2018 separated by technology area.
Spending in all three areas has risen since FY 2016, a trend the Army expects will continue into FY 2018. Growth in projects related to all three technology areas reflects the massive investment Army is making to modernize its capabilities and eventually reap both cost and effectiveness benefits.
Cloud computing-related projects make up the smallest of the three areas, even though these will see funding growth of +18.8% compared to the estimated funding received in FY 2017. In all, cloud-related projects will see growth of +141% from funding received in FY 2016.
Concerning Army’s cyber-related projects funding request in FY 2018, it comes in at +31.6% higher than the total requested in FY 2017, and +140% higher than what the Army requested in FY 2016.
Big data-related efforts at Army fare well too with requested budgets rising +7.4% from FY 2017 to FY 2018 and +8.2% from the funding requested in FY 2016.
Summing up, cyber-related programs will see the highest percentage growth in FY 2018, followed by those with a cloud component, and then those with a big data component, although the total funding dedicated to the latter dwarfs funding for the other two combined. Many of the Army’s cyber programs also leverage cloud and big data technology, however, so rising spending related to big data will also be relevant to cyber capabilities and cloud-enabled systems. Next week’s post will provide more detail on cyber-related investments, followed by cloud projects, and then big data investments in the week thereafter.