NewsBrief April 23, 2021

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: April 23, 2021

Space Command moves for tighter cyber integration

(FCW) U.S. Space Command is launching a dedicated joint cyber center for better integration with U.S. Cyber Command, said its commander Gen. James Dickinson. “We are standing up a joint cyber center within the command as we speak,” the general testified during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing with the U.S. Strategic Command and Space Command to review the fiscal 2022 budget request and Future Years Defense program. “I also have, as a result of the command standing up, I’ve got five service components provided by each of the services to the combatant command with two of those — my Navy component as well as my Marines component — who are dual hatted,” for space and cyber. Read More

Analytics-to-Value: Digital analytics optimizing products and portfolios

(McKinsey & Company) Leading companies have made great strides over the past several years in managing the costs of components and raw materials—which can account for up to 50 percent of a manufacturers’ cost base—using design-to-value (DtV) programs. But with the pandemic’s economic impact likely to be deep and painful in many sectors, companies are under intense pressure to drive a new level of material-cost efficiency. One of the most promising new strategies is analytics-to-value (AtV). This set of digital- and analytics-based practices enables dramatic increases in product cost and portfolio-optimization efficiency. It does so by exploiting product and procurement data (enriched with a wide range of internal and external data sources) and applying a digital version of traditional material-cost-management practices. Read More

Prioritizing Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in a Pandemic

(iot for all) Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) give companies the one thing humans can’t – scalability. Over time, humans limit a businesses’ ability to scale; they can only work so many hours at a given efficiency. On the other hand, AI and ML can work around the clock with the sole focus on a given project. As organizations navigate through COVID-19’s impact and the future of a remote workforce, scalability and efficiency can be the key to an organization’s successful recovery. The benefits of AI and ML don’t come without their own challenges; however, the top challenges are a lack of skills and time for proper implementation. In July, Deloitte found in a survey that 69% of respondents said the skills gap for AI implementation ranged from moderate to major to extreme. Read More

Why Less Is More in Data Migration

(MITSloan) As the pandemic continues, companies are racing to transfer data from old, bloated IT systems to more nimble, modern setups in order to launch new online services and maintain operating systems remotely. But few of these large-scale initiatives proceed as planned or deliver promised results. Many multiyear IT data migration programs fail — often at a hefty cost. Companies can reduce their chances of running into trouble by accepting that “less is more.” Below we share three principles companies can follow to successfully shift data into new systems in months instead of years, fueling faster innovation: tagging essential data that must be migrated; leaving behind “nice-to-have” data; and lowering data quality standards, even if it’s only by less than 1%. Read More

Military exchanges open to DoD civilian employees, retirees next month

(Federal News Network) Military exchange stores will soon have a whole lot more customers than before after a new Defense Department directive expanded access. Nearly 600,000 civilian employees who work for the Defense Department and the Coast Guard will now be able to shop in the stores, which are sales tax-free and offer some discounts compared to major outlets. DoD issued the directive on April 12, the stores have 30 days to comply and let the new civilian customers into the stores. It’s not just working civilians who are gaining new exchange benefits. Civilians who retired from a military department or from the Coast Guard will get access to the exchanges’ online stores, but not to the physical locations. All honorably discharged veterans will now be able to shop online as well. Read More

NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover Extracts First Oxygen from Red Planet

(NASA) The growing list of “firsts” for Perseverance, NASA’s newest six-wheeled robot on the Martian surface, includes converting some of the Red Planet’s thin, carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere into oxygen. A toaster-size, experimental instrument aboard Perseverance called the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) accomplished the task. The test took place April 20, the 60th Martian day, or sol, since the mission landed Feb. 18. While the technology demonstration is just getting started, it could pave the way for science fiction to become science fact – isolating and storing oxygen on Mars to help power rockets that could lift astronauts off the planet’s surface. Read More

Telescope lasers could give humanity an edge in war against space junk

( Telescope operators figured out years ago how to make the stars stop twinkling. Now, a team of Australian scientists wants to use the same technology to track space junk and blast it out of space. The problem is Earth’s atmosphere: It’s uneven and distorts light passing from space to Earth, and Earth to space. That’s a problem, because the nice twinkly effect Earth’s atmosphere gives stars makes it difficult for ground-based telescopes to accurately observe the heavens. It’s also a problem for efforts to lower the risk of space junk, which threatens satellites and crewed spaceflight, as Live Science previously reported. Read More