Defense IT Priorities and Strategies, 2019-2024

Published: December 19, 2019

Federal Market AnalysisAcquisition ReformArtificial Intelligence/Machine LearningBig DataBudgetCloud ComputingCybersecurityForecasts and SpendingIT WorkforceNational Defense Authorization ActPolicy and LegislationResearch and DevelopmentUnmanned Systems

Deltek's Defense IT Priorities and Strategies, 2019-2024 report explores the factors shaping the Department of Defense’s information technology environment, priorities and key investment areas.

The Department of Defense’s (DOD) IT ecosystem is undergoing a profound transformation as the department shifts to a new cloud-based infrastructure that will eventually enable the enterprise deployment of artificial intelligence. Leveraging new acquisition authority and reorganizing its processes to maximize efficiency, the DOD is introducing commercial technologies at an unprecedented rate, beginning with prototypes that DOD can transition into permanent solutions. Outsourced network operations and 5G pilots promise to deliver capabilities faster than ever, while cyber-operations – both offensive and defensive – are becoming a part of nearly every defense mission area.

As the Joint Information Environment (JIE) construct fades into the background, a new multi-domain operations concept combining kinetic warfare with cyber capabilities and information dominance initiatives is coming to the forefront. Military departments are working to provide capabilities to the warfighting edge using cloud-based platforms that also employ enterprise-wide big data analytics delivered via mobile devices. Meanwhile, demands for speed, agility, effectiveness and efficiency are reshaping IT policy while driving the use of alternative acquisition approaches, such as Other Transaction Authority (OTA). Due to these and other factors, Deltek forecasts the Department of Defense contractor addressable IT market to show modest grow from $53.0B billion in FY 2019 to $55.7 billion in FY 2024 at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 1.0%.

This report examines the DOD’s current and planned efforts to modernize its policies, acquisition processes and IT environment over the coming years.

Key Findings

  • The topline DOD discretionary budget will likely continue to see growth. Congress’ use of 2-year Bipartisan Budget Agreements points to DOD budgets remaining above sequestration caps.
  • The DOD CIO now has greater authority to determine appropriate IT modernization budget levels for the military departments, a development that should help drive common standards and interoperability.
  • Most of the DOD (with the exception of Navy) now spends more through Government-Wide Acquisition Contracts than other vehicles. Navy continues to use its SeaPort-e contract more than any other acquisition avenue.
  • DOD’s adoption of Category Management could signal greater use of Best-in-Class (BIC) contract vehicles, as well as greater scrutiny of certain spending categories that drive contract consolidation.
  • Enterprise-IT-as-a-Service (EITaaS) initiatives are key modernization efforts enabling the DOD to make greater use of cloud computing, advanced analytics and enterprise-level artificial intelligence/machine learning.
  • DOD now sees cloud adoption as the key to its IT modernization efforts and the use of emerging technologies.
  • DOD spending on community/public cloud overtook spending on private cloud in recent years, indicating higher confidence in contractor-operated cloud environments.
  • New Pentagon Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) requiring contractors to obtain 3rd party cybersecurity certifications in order to be considered for new DOD contracts will be a “gate keeper” for defense contracts going forward.
  • Creation of the U.S. Space Force recognizes space as a key warfighting domain requiring strategic focus, but Congress seeks to minimize cost and bureaucracy.
  • Critical Insight for Vendors

    Deltek’s Defense IT Priorities and Strategies, 2019-2024 report examines the policy and other factors shaping the DOD’s procurement of information technology goods and services.

    The report provides:

  • Insight into the legislative factors shaping DOD’s organization and leadership.
  • Analysis of the legislative and policy dynamics shaping the defense technology market.
  • Assessment of the key mission-enabling technologies driving opportunities for contractors doing business with the DOD.
  • Review of the current and potential adoption of emerging technologies by DOD.
  • Recommendations to help contractors evaluate the impact of trends on their business.
  • Deltek's Defense IT Priorities and Strategies, 2019-2024 report is delivered in PowerPoint® format, including a PowerPoint® Executive Briefing, and an Excel® data workbook.

    Defense IT Priorities and Strategies, 2019-2024


  • Purpose of This Report
  • Scope
  • Methodology
  • Key Findings
  • Defense IT Landscape

  • Budget Environment
  • Defense Policy Environment
  • Acquisition Environment
  • Technology Priorities

  • DOD’s New IT Modernization Plan
  • Multi-Domain Operations
  • Cloud Computing
  • Information Security
  • Big Data
  • ISR/Unmanned Systems
  • Mobility
  • Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning
  • Other Emerging Technology
  • Conclusions and Recommendations