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SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT

cycles of the competitive commercial world. The procurement process needs to change. The rate at which capabilities are fielded to address the warfighter has to change. The middleware infrastructure is ready; system and data modeling technologies are ready; the open-standards supply chain is ready; and the defense supply chain is up to speed with the technology and is already leveraging it. The only difference going forward will be how integration will be managed. IOA introduces a shift from the current vertical integration strategy to a horizontal one. Everyone has fully open access to the infrastructure. In fact, the infrastructure could be acquired independently from the system functional components. The central commercial tenet that will deliver the efficiencies is competition enabled by DoD and MoD mandated systems interoperability. The lesson learned by defense procurement using OA over the last 10

years is that the benefits that should accrue to OA don’t happen unless defense procurement also mandates the integration strategy and does so in a way that enables unambiguous understanding of the data—not only its structure but also its semantic context and meaning. The traditional ICD/ IDD (Interface Control Document/ Interface Description Document) have been shown to be insufficient, as they only enable syntactic interoperability. The DoD and MoD are starting to define an IOA, and are taking ownership of those parts of the integration strategy that are necessary to ensure the delivery of interoperable SoSs. The system must have the ability to “wrap� and integrate legacy subsystems not originally built to the new Open Architecture (Figure 2).

tion strategy: Interoperable Open Architecture (IOA). Until recently, the economic imperative has lagged the technological capabilities. With the current economic environment, the economic pressure now drives architectural innovation in the same way that conf lict has traditionally driven technological innovation. The convergence of economic imperative with technological capabilities enables a new procurement strategy. IOA meets the need to get capabilities to the warfighter more rapidly, and with reduced costs. Unlike many previous efforts that have merely shifted costs and risks from one portion of a program to another, IOA promises to provide the benefits of open competition throughout the entire lifecycle of military procurement.

Interoperable Open Architecture

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COTS Journal  
COTS Journal  

August 2013