While there is an ongoing level of uncertainty about the future of many Department of Defense (DoD) innovation programs, there is an underlying confidence emerging that defense IT investing and spending will remain strong.

According to a FCW article commentary coming from the recent RSA Conference reinforces this confidence – even when many key leadership positions at the Pentagon have yet to be filled.

In particular, DoD programs like the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental and the Army’s Rapid Capabilities Office continues to remain viable – moving money and completing contracts – and is still capturing the attention of industry.

In addition, many industry executives spoke with FCW on background at the RSA Conference, and “they expect to see an increased Pentagon budget going forward, and therefore more opportunities for industry.”

A recent Wired Magazine article also discussed how the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Advisory Board continues to leverage talents and innovation from Silicon Valley.

Created in 2016, the Defense Innovation Advisory Board includes tech leaders such as Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Instagram’s Marne Levine and LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman. According to the Wired article, all of these executives plan on staying on the board until the end of their terms.  The piece also addressed how supporting the DoD, for these executives, is less controversial than advising Trump and the White House directly.

This recent Bloomberg Government article outlines the most recent recommendations from the Defense Innovation Advisory Board:

  • Appoint a chief innovation officer and build innovation capacity in the workforce;
  • Embed computer science as a core competency of the department of defense through recruiting and training;
  • Embrace a culture of experimentation;
  • Assess cybersecurity vulnerabilities of advanced weapons;
  • Catalyze innovations in artificial intelligence and machine learning;
  • Expand use of available acquisition waivers and exemptions;
  • Increase investment in new approaches to innovation;
  • Improve DoD access to code;
  • Establish software development teams at each major command;
  • Make computing and bandwidth abundant;
  • Reward bureaucracy busting; and
  • Lower barriers to innovation.

It seems that innovation will remain a major priority for helping the DoD advance mission success.  Despite any political uncertainty, many are feeling confident about the future, and how industry will continue to remain the ideal partner for the Pentagon.