Army accelerates app innovation, delivery
May 2, 2011
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, May 2, 2011) -- The Army is now developing another "Apps for the Army" challenge which will be the next increment of the Army Marketplace.
The challenge is expected to launch in 2012 with expanded participation, to include both public and industry developers.
"In 2010, the Apps for the Army challenge provided a venue for internal Army early adopters and innovators," said Gary Blohm, lead for software transformation within the Army Chief Information Office/G-6. "This time the Army wants to tap into industry, and not just for its well-known application development capabilities, but to help them look at new ways to broaden third party participation in the marketplace."
In preparation for the next Apps for the Army, or A4A, the CIO/G-6 is designing prototype monetization business models and addressing intellectual property rights, said Blohm.
Army CIO/G-6 efforts to accelerate innovation and speed delivery of applications include conducting a number of events that engage industry in changing the business models, practices and processes currently used to respond to warfighter needs.
The events will help refine the existing prototype Army Application Marketplace and its capabilities and provide the foundation for next year's A4A challenge.
"Our ability to adopt more agile practices and processes is based on the ongoing collapse and standardization of computing environments," said Blohm. "This means we are looking to establish an online capability that can support applications that are accessed by a variety of devices across diverse mission areas."
While many think of apps and app marketplaces being only for smart phones, the Army wants to use the marketplace for all types of applications.
In 2010, the Army kicked off its application innovation initiative by launching "Apps for the Army," a challenge directed at unleashing the creativity of Soldiers and Army civilians to develop solutions to enhance operational effectiveness and increase business productivity.
Parallel efforts were conducted to establish a supporting proof of concept application marketplace with streamlined processes and nascent capabilities provided by Department of Defense, such as the DoD Storefront, forge.mil and RACE. Its initial set of capabilities supported the distribution of the A4A winning apps.