NewsBrief May 28, 2021

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: May 28, 2021

Those who are ‘data fluent’ will be future leaders of DOD

(fedscoop)The Department of Defense is in the midst of a transformation rooted in becoming a more data-driven, digital organization. And to get there, the department is going to need to not only develop a culture centered on data but build a workforce of data-savvy leaders, said one of its top data officials. The DOD is working this year to implement a “broad program of data training, education and outreach that will have a positive and lasting effect on DOD’s culture,” Clark Cully, deputy chief data officer, said at Informatica’s Data in Action Summit, produced by FedScoop. As data management and utility becomes more engrained in the department’s DNA, the ability to understand and use data will become an essential skill across the ranks of the military — especially for those at the top, Cully said. Read More

AFRL opens Space Warfighting Operations Research and Development (SWORD) Laboratory

(Air Force Materiel Command) KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFRL) – The Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate held a ribbon cutting ceremony May 20 to celebrate the opening of its newest facility, the Space Warfighting Operations Research and Development, or SWORD, laboratory. Col. Eric Felt, the director of AFRL’s Space Vehicles Directorate, hosted the event with AFRL commander, Maj. Gen. Heather Pringle as the presiding officer and keynote speaker. The SWORD Lab is a 26,000 square foot, $12.8 million state-of-the-art facility, with office and laboratory space that will house the 65 scientists, engineers and support staff of the directorate’s Space Control Branch to better integrate R&D programs focused on improving space warfighting capabilities. Read More

Air Force to trial Wi-Fi hotspot-like tech in tankers and fast jets

(fedscoop) The Air Force announced Friday that it is taking a “critical step” towards a new internet-of-things for war by installing communications pods into certain air tankers and fast jets. The pods act like Wi-Fi hotspots, allowing the aircraft to relay large streams of data without having to land. The technology will initially be used with F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II fighter jets, and also with KC-46 Pegasus tankers. “A critical step in the progress of any military program…is the establishment of the manpower, resources and doctrinal infrastructure that underpin the program,” the Air Force said in a statement announcing the new technology trial. Read More

SOCOM data official: Build interoperability into new systems for joint war fighting

(C4ISRNET) WASHINGTON — The U.S. military needs to focus on building interoperability into its future weapons and IT systems to enable joint war fighting, Special Operations Command’s top data official said Wednesday. With data at the core of the military’s new joint war-fighting concept, known as Joint All-Domain Command and Control, the services are trying to connect a myriad of platforms that range from new technology to older systems that weren’t built for passing data across domains. But to reach the Defense Department’s goal to connect the any sensor to the best-positioned person in a battle, the military must set common data standards and implement application programming interfaces (APIs) to allow older and newer systems to talk to each other. Read More

The federal government’s procurement portal leaves beta with focus on data security

(fedscoop) The federal government’s one-stop-shop for contracting activities dropped the “beta” from its name Monday. The General Services Administration, which hosts the website, finalized the integration of the original System for Award Management (SAM) system — which featured entity registration, entity reporting and disaster response registry — with functions from, like contracting opportunities, on Monday to create a single system spanning all elements of federal contracting. GSA made about 50 improvements to from its beta version based on 35,000 pieces of user feedback, with a focus on data security, during the transition. Read More

US Army emphasizes ‘information advantage’

(C4ISRNET) BELCAMP, Maryland — The U.S. Army will soon make “information advantage” an official term of doctrine, elevating the idea and setting conditions for how the Army will fight to win in the information space. The term began to gain steam following the transition of Army Cyber Command from solely cyberspace operations to more broad information warfare duties, encompassing electromagnetic spectrum operations, as well as information operations and influence. Recently, top officials from around the Army — including representatives from Training and Doctrine Command, the Combined Arms Center, Army Cyber Command and Army Futures Command — gathered to discuss the term’s meaning. Read More

DHS oversight body finds data handling concerns across department agencies

(fedscoop) “Persistent” data collection and management issues hinder daily use of large, diverse databases for decision-making across Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agencies, according to its Office of Inspector General (OIG). DHS‘ OIG reviewed reports between fiscal 2017 and 2019 for recurring and systemic data issues and found 70 instances of integrity, reliability and availability problems throughout more than one-third of reports. “[F]ollow-through and continued improvement will be essential to address the internal control issues underlying the data deficiencies we highlighted,” read the OIG’s report, which was issued Monday. “Only then can the department be assured it captures reliable and accurate data to accomplish its mission responsibilities.” Read More

The impact of agility: How to shape your organization to compete

(McKinsey & Company) Agility is on everyone’s lips—online searches for “agile transformation” yield around 100 million hits, and the stories of well-known pioneers circulate widely. But is this just hype, or are there real benefits to be gained? Is agility just noise from the IT department, or an opportunity that merits serious attention from the top team? And if pursuing agility yields benefits, what is the recipe for success? To find the answers, we conducted a McKinsey Global Survey that reached 2,190 respondents across industries and geographies.1 We wanted to go beyond the fluff, so we asked respondents what, if anything, their companies did in practice to advance agility, and what hard numbers they achieved regarding business impact. Read More

Implementing a digital transformation at industrial companies

(McKinsey & Company) Industrial companies have long trailed behind retailers and other B2C players when it comes to digitizing their marketing and sales operations, but they are now on the cusp of change. With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing workers to stay home and limiting in-person interactions, digital solutions are now essential to customer outreach and support. In fact, a recent McKinsey survey showed that two-thirds of B2B customers prefer remote human assistance or digital self-service when making a purchase. What’s more, 80 percent of B2B leaders said that omnichannel sales were equally or more effective than traditional methods. Read More

Jupiter’s ocean moon Europa may have deep-sea volcanoes

( The Jupiter moon Europa may be an even more promising abode for life than scientists had thought. A recent study suggests that active volcanoes may lurk on the seabed of the 1,940-mile-wide (3,120 kilometers) Europa, which harbors a huge ocean of salty water beneath its icy shell. Such volcanoes could power deep-sea hydrothermal systems, environments rich in chemical energy that potential Europa lifeforms could exploit, researchers said. “Our findings provide additional evidence that Europa’s subsurface ocean may be an environment suitable for the emergence of life,” study lead author Marie Běhounková, of Charles University in the Czech Republic, said in a statement. Read More