Key Issues > DOD Business Systems Modernization
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DOD Business Systems Modernization

The Department of Defense (DOD) spends billions of dollars each year to acquire modern systems to achieve its business transformation goals, but has not fully defined and established a family of business system modernization management controls. These controls are vital to ensuring that DOD can effectively and efficiently manage an undertaking with the size, complexity, and significance of its business systems modernization, and minimize the associated risks.

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For decades, DOD has been attempting to modernize about 2,300 business systems, which are supported by billions of dollars in annual expenditures that are intended to support business functions and operations. Recommendations aimed at strengthening DOD’s institutional approach to modernization and reducing the risks associated with key investments include

  • developing and using a business enterprise architecture (BEA) modernization blueprint,
  • establishing effective investment management controls to guide and constrain DOD’s multi-billion dollar business systems environment, and
  • ensuring that DOD follows best practices when acquiring information technology systems and services.

DOD has made progress implementing key institutional modernization management controls; however, more needs to be done. For example, at the institutional level, DOD needs to

  • extend (federate) its corporate business enterprise architecture and related transition plan to its component organizations and ensure that it reflects the department's complete investment portfolio, and
  • evolve its corporate and component business system investment management processes and institutionalize these processes at all levels of the organization.

For specific programs, DOD needs to

  • ensure that the thousands of DOD business system modernization and information technology (IT) programs and projects employ program management rigor and discipline, including practices such as:
    • economically justifying investments on the basis of reliable estimates of future costs and benefits,
    • selecting and controlling investments within the context of an enterprise architecture, and
    • effectively conducting key acquisition functions, including requirements management, risk management, test management, performance management, and contract management
Looking for our recommendations? Click on any report to find each associated recommendation and its current implementation status.

Defense Business Systems:

Further Refinements Needed to Guide the Investment Management Process
GAO-14-486:
Published: May 12, 2014. Publicly Released: May 12, 2014.

Major Automated Information Systems:

Selected Defense Programs Need to Implement Key Acquisition Practices
GAO-14-309:
Published: Mar 27, 2014. Publicly Released: Mar 27, 2014.

DOD Business Systems Modernization:

Governance Mechanisms for Implementing Management Controls Need to Be Improved
GAO-12-685:
Published: Jun 1, 2012. Publicly Released: Jun 1, 2012.

DOD Financial Management:

Implementation Weaknesses in Army and Air Force Business Systems Could Jeopardize DOD's Auditability Goals
GAO-12-134:
Published: Feb 28, 2012. Publicly Released: Mar 29, 2012.

Organizational Transformation:

Military Departments Can Improve Their Enterprise Architecture Programs
GAO-11-902:
Published: Sep 26, 2011. Publicly Released: Sep 26, 2011.

More Reports

Defense Acquisitions:

Assessment of Institute for Defense Analyses' C-130 Avionics Modernization Program Analysis
GAO-14-547R:
Published: May 29, 2014. Publicly Released: May 29, 2014.

National Defense:

Army Workload and Performance System:

Actions Needed to Complete Assessment of Unnecessary Overlap with Logistics Modernization Program
GAO-14-266:
Published: Feb 28, 2014. Publicly Released: Feb 28, 2014.

DOD Business Systems Modernization:

Air Force Business System Schedule and Cost Estimates
GAO-14-152:
Published: Feb 7, 2014. Publicly Released: Mar 10, 2014.

Defense Logistics:

Army Should Track Financial Benefits Realized from its Logistics Modernization Program
GAO-14-51:
Published: Nov 13, 2013. Publicly Released: Nov 13, 2013.

DOD Business Systems Modernization:

Further Actions Needed to Address Challenges and Improve Accountability
GAO-13-557:
Published: May 17, 2013. Publicly Released: May 17, 2013.

Organizational Transformation:

Enterprise Architecture Value Needs to Be Measured and Reported
GAO-12-791:
Published: Sep 26, 2012. Publicly Released: Sep 26, 2012.

Tactical Aircraft:

Comparison of F-22A and Legacy Fighter Modernization Programs
GAO-12-524:
Published: Apr 26, 2012. Publicly Released: Apr 26, 2012.

Department of Defense:

Further Actions Needed to Institutionalize Key Business System Modernization Management Controls
GAO-11-684:
Published: Jun 29, 2011. Publicly Released: Jun 29, 2011.

Defense Logistics:

Additional Oversight and Reporting for the Army Logistics Modernization Program Are Needed
GAO-11-139:
Published: Nov 18, 2010. Publicly Released: Nov 18, 2010.
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    • Carol Cha
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