Highlights from the Defense-Wide FY 2025 Unclassified IT Budget Request

Published: April 10, 2024

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The Defense-Wide unclassified IT budget request continues to rise.

Today’s post summarizes highlights from the Defense-Wide portion of the unclassified information technology (IT) request issued by the Department of Defense (DOD) for fiscal year 2025. The Defense-Wide part of the request concerns those agencies and offices that make up the Fourth Estate, or Defense Agencies. For last week’s post on the U.S. Army’s portion of the fiscal year 2025 request can find it here.

Total Request

Looking at the total request we see that it has been rising every year since FY 2021. The average rate of rise is 6.8% from year to year, if we compare the figures from FY 2021-2025. If we parse the figures from the slower period of FY 2022-2025, the rise averages a slower 4.4%.

Several factors are driving increased budgets for Fourth Estate agencies. These include ongoing modernization efforts at the Defense Health Agency and the elevation of the Defense Information Systems Agency to the role of Single Service Provider for the entire Fourth Estate. DISA also continues to provide an array of services for the military departments.

There are two other factors worth mentioning as well. First, the consolidation of cybersecurity responsibilities into U.S. Cyber Command is still progressing. This evolution is shifting funding from the military departments to the total Fourth Estate number. Unfortunately, the released data on the IT Dashboard  does not allow us to break down the request by Defense Agency. Second, inflation is driving the DOD to request higher amounts of funding.

Request by Mission Support Category

Parsing the data by mission support category reveals that, like the Army, the Fourth Estate requests most of its IT budget for projects which do not fall neatly into established categories. This makes sense for the funding that goes to R&D, Health IT, cybersecurity, etc.

The one category of note is Electronic Records Management. Agencies across the government are being driven to modernize their recordkeeping using cloud services and automation. This trend is reflected in the Defense Agencies request as well.

Top Programs (FY 2025 Only)

Turning to the top ten programs by requested FY 2025 budget, this is where we can gain a bit of insight into which of Fourth Estate agencies are requesting funding for their major efforts.

  • Defense Logistics Agency Computing Infrastructure - $652M
  • Defense Information Systems Agency Non-DISN Telecomm - $640M
  • Defense Health Agency DOD Healthcare Management System Modernization - $628M
  • Defense Health Agency Military Health System IT Sustainment - $517M
  • Defense Health Agency Joint Operational Medicine Information Systems - $259M
  • Defense Health Agency Military Treatment Facility Operations - $250M
  • Defense-Wide CISCO Joint Enterprise License Agreement - $219M
  • DOD CIO Programs - $208M
  • Defense Logistics Agency Enterprise Business System - $205M
  • Defense Information Systems Agency Advancing Analytics (ADVANA) - $163M

Investments at the DHA clearly continue to command large annual budgets, along with a couple at DISA and DLA. These investments provide a small taste of IT investment at the Fourth Estate and the attractiveness of Defense Agencies as places for industry to do business.