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Gabe Camarillo: Army Must Rethink Its Acquisition Practices to Effectively Accelerate Digital Transformation

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The U.S. Army is keeping up with the increasing speed of technological change by taking advantage of different acquisition pathways to accelerate its own digital transformation, said Army Undersecretary Gabe Camarillo.

At the Capability Set Technical Exchange Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, Camarillo and other Army leaders gave an overview of initiatives to modernize their IT infrastructure.

According to Camarillo, the service branch intends to expedite experimentation, prototyping and deployment of network technologies that are designed for emerging threats and operational landscapes. They will advance joint operations by using modern software and their accompanying development practices. He added that they plan to open up data silos, establish a link between enterprise and tactical networks and adopt systems that securely transmit data wherever it is requested.

Camarillo cited two transformational challenges faced by the Army. One is the evolution of combat operations into large-scale landscapes with modernized maneuver capabilities, and the other is the exchange of critical data in those complex situations.

To effectively modernize its infrastructure, the service branch feels it needs to reform its acquisition practices. The Army must “fundamentally rethink its buying models, accept different lifecycle assumptions, and review investment strategies and the incentives they create,” he stated.