When it comes to the procurement of new defense innovations, it is all too easy to lose sight of the most important constituent:  the end-user soldier.  This is often due to the complexities that come with the acquisition process, as well as focusing a bit more on the needs of commanders and other defense leaders.

According to Michael McCarthy, Chief, LANDWARNET Division, this all needs to change. Speaking at the recent Military Network Modernization Summit, McCarthy also discussed how the Army has embraced immature technology without building in the flexibility to adapt to new advances – as highlighted by this recent FCW article.

“What we need to do is work that process so that it becomes more responsive to the operational needs,” McCarthy told FCW at the summit. “At the same time … take advantage of that velocity of change within the civilian sector, particularly with IT [and] mission command.”

He also highlighted how the acquisition process is automatically biased towards specific solutions, which hampers the ability to be flexible as technology continually innovates at a rapid pace.

McCarthy put this vision into place with the Future to Command Post 2025, a long-range vision leveraging cloud technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT).

According to this October 2016 GovTech Work article, the goal of this solution is “a single integrated command system that combines operations with logistics and intelligence and can be set up on the fly, providing deployed commanders a complete picture of their situation as soon as they hit the ground.”

As McCarthy highlighted in the recent FCW piece, keeping apace with innovation will require both policy and cultural changes within the Department of Defense – no small challenge.  However, as more voices like this continue to resonate, we will potentially see changes that benefit the warfighter.

For offering a vision that will ultimately make our nation safer and stronger through innovation, we are naming Michael McCarthy as this week’s GovTransformer. Stay tuned for our ongoing coverage of other federal executives and their agencies that are truly transforming how they support mission goals through the most effective use of IT.