DISA hunts for ways to keep pace with mobile technologies

A new request for information from the Defense Information Systems Agency is a clear sign the government struggles to keep pace with technological change, but at least DISA wants a plan in place to deal with change.

The Defense Department is trying to deliver secure mobile solutions to its users, but the commercial market is moving so quickly that it cannot keep up.

Until recently, companies met most government telecommunications needs with industry-provided solutions. These days, the commercial mobile telecom technology advances so quickly that it bypasses the government's role in driving advancements.

As a result, DOD is trying to prepare for the rapidly evolving market as it plans for an upcoming request for proposala.

DOD released a request for information June 20, asking companies about the lifespan of their mobile field devices and the process for updating them since the telecommunications industry evolves roughly every six months. The department also wants to know about any side infrastructures, transitions between mobile carriers, and whether or not the device meets specific security standards.

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is updating its acquisition process to match the speedy civilian-use market, but the department still needs assistance keeping up with evolving future mobility devices.

DOD issued the RFI for market analysis before issuing an RFP. Nevertheless, the responses to the RFI may alter officials’ plans. With the RFI, DISA hopes to get information on the maturity of products, systems and services to meet requirements.

The RFI was released June 20. Responses are due July 11.