Planned FY 2018 Navy Technology Investments – Cloud, Cybersecurity, Big Data

Published: September 13, 2017

Big DataBudgetCloud ComputingCybersecurityInformation TechnologyNAVY

The Department of the Navy’s FY 2018 Procurement and Research-related budget request shows growth in cloud computing, big data, and cybersecurity.

The Navy’s Information Dominance strategy and vision and its IT Capability Priorities are driving investments in initiatives that span from unified capabilities to infrastructure optimization within the defense-wide Joint Information Environment construct. This has led the Navy to look to transform their enterprise IT, further integrate their sea, land, air, and cyber systems, and leverage their IT and information management (IM) capabilities to provide a decisive advantage in joint warfighting capabilities through technology approaches like big data, cloud computing, and heightened cybersecurity.

Since the Navy’s technology strategy and policies in these areas has morphed with progress over time it is valuable to explore the Procurement and Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) dollars that the Navy is looking to invest in projects with cloud computing, big data, and/or cybersecurity dimensions in fiscal year (FY) 2018.

An analysis of the Navy’s FY 2018 Procurement and RDT&E budget documentation for key words and terms related to the specific technologies yielded the numbers below. However, the data that the Navy provides in its budget has its limitations and the granularity of detail does not always provide spending specific to cloud, big data, and cybersecurity, so the numbers provided here should be considered approximations (floors?) that get us in the general range of what the Navy is spending in each area. Further, some programs might actually contain efforts that address all three technologies, which means that the requested funding for those programs has been included in total under each technology area. One final caveat to note is that these are budget figures that include spending on internal personnel expenses, so these dollars are not all contractor-addressable, or what the Navy expects to spend on contracted goods and services related to these areas.

The chart below provides an overview of the combined Procurement and RDT&E spending and requested budgets for FY 2016 – FY 2018 by each technology area.

As you can see, spending in each area has grown at different rates since FY 2016, an indication of the fiscal, policy, organizational, and technical realities that impact IT at the Navy and across the Department of Defense (DoD). Nonetheless, the Navy is seeking to spend more in FY 2018 than in FY 2017 on each of these three areas. Growth in projects related to cloud and big data reflects the significant investment the Navy is making to modernize its technological capabilities and leverage IT in new ways. And although growth in cybersecurity is somewhat less dramatic by comparison going into FY 2018 the fact that the Navy has been consistently investing in securing its networks, systems, and applications indicates the ongoing priority they place on its importance to their information dominance mission and overall Navy effectiveness.

The Navy’s cloud computing-related projects make up the smallest of the three areas, even though these will see funding growth of greater than +35% compared to the estimated funding received in FY 2017. In all, cloud-related projects will see growth of +95% from funding received in FY 2016.

The Navy’s funding request in FY 2018 for its cybersecurity-related projects comes in at +6% higher than the total enacted in FY 2017, and +15% higher than what the they reported spending in FY 2016.

Big data-related efforts at the Navy occupy the top of the heap in the spending area and fall in the middle of the pack on growth, both year-to-year and 3-year overall. Requested budgets for BD is +17% from FY 2017 to FY 2018 and coming in at +25% above the reported actual budget in FY 2016.

In summary, Navy cloud-related programs will see the highest percentage growth in FY 2018, followed by those with a big data component, and then those with a cybersecurity component, although the total funding dedicated to the big data and cyber each dwarf the funding for cloud-related spending.