Information Technology Portfolio Management (IT PfM)
What is it? IT PfM is an effort to optimize DOD investments in information technology by examining the entire enterprise to identify ways to leverage similar existing and planned IT assets to provide maximum effectiveness to warfighters for the least possible cost at a level of associated risk that is acceptable to the Nation. IT PfM requires the implementation of an iterative process of data collection, analyses, selection, and controls/feedback very similar to the process used by Wall Street portfolio managers to manage the mixture of holdings to achieve the maximum return on investment while limiting the level of risk.
What has the Army done? Since the program’s beginning in July 2005, the Army has implemented a system called the Army Portfolio Management Solution (APMS) which facilitates the collection and performance of high level analyses of the information necessary to prioritize the thousands of IT investments within the Army portfolio. To better enable this effort, IT investments have been divided by the capabilities they deliver, into three mission areas: the Warfighter, Business and Enterprise Information Environment (WMA, BMA and EIEMA) which are each led by three or four-star level flag officers or senior executives. Within the BMA, high-level enterprise architectures have been developed and much analyses and some selection has already been completed. Within the WMA and EIEMA, analyses have already begun in select, high value areas (such as Tactical Knowledge Management and Collaboration).
What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future? The Army’s IT PfM is currently focused on selecting the areas with greatest possible impact to the warfighter and potential savings from elimination of duplicative and redundant systems, and executing the intensive analysis required to fully optimize those areas. Additionally, the Army is working with OSD and the other Services to institutionalize the IT PfM process while simultaneously making it more effective and efficient by leveraging and integrating IT PfM with existing DoD processes.
Why is this important to the Army? The Army must adapt to overcome future threats and develop ways to win “the long war” against a continuously changing set of threats within the economic constraints defined by our national resources. This means the Army must be more agile, more flexible, and more cost-effective than it has ever been. However, warfighters cannot be any more agile or cost-effective than the infrastructure used to man, equip and train them. Therefore, Army Transformation requires an IT infrastructure which is more agile, flexible, and cost-effective, and therein lays the value of IT PfM. IT PfM is critical to the Army because it provides the mechanism by which we will achieve the agile, rapidly adaptable, and cost-effective IT infrastructure our Soldiers need.