In just over a year, the Defense Department has made more progress on its business systems modernization project than it did in the past 10. Paul Brinkley, deputy undersecretary of Defense for business transformation, and his team in the Business Transformation Agency have been largely responsible for the turnaround. Under Brinkley, the BTA has put in place the necessary disciplines, such as an enterprise architecture, common data rules, data standards, a governance structure and business rules to perform transactions, that are not only paying dividends, but are getting their advances noticed across the federal government.
DOD no longer is focused on just reducing its business systems. The department is trying to get a better accounting of where the money’s going. The services and agencies currently spend more than $4.2 billion a year to maintain roughly 4,700 business systems. The goal also is to ensure that those systems are interoperable with the business enterprise architecture the department is building, officials have said.
Even the Government Accountability Office, which has put the project on its high-risk list for the past decade, has complimented DOD’s progress over the past 12 months.
With this experience behind him, Brinkley talked with GCN about DOD’s progress, the future of the program and what other agencies can learn from the department’s experiences.