End-User Experience: IT / methodologies that impact Knowledge Workers using / training Mission Command, LVCG, Mil2.0 & Gov2.0 capabilities.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Apps4Army means more than the Apps alone

The US Army CIO/G6 is on the cusp of shattering a paradigm.

Lack of interoperability, high SW license costs, high specialized HW costs, proprietary code, high Dev / FSR support costs and, last but not least, poor UIs have hindered our Army's Battle Command (BC) capabilities for years. The non-POR rise has taken hold and in many ways surpassed the POR offerings (CIDNE, TIGR, Axis Pro, JADOCS anyone? - Not to mention CPOF came directly from DARPA as a non-POR). The CIO/G6 is posturing to align BC capabilities with commercial market offerings and change the combat / material developer.

Apps4Army is a game changer not because of the initial winning apps but because it has proven the Army may move forward with the "new" plan. Build apps - web (thin, thick), mobile and mobile native apps - in line with the Army's approved SDKs and APIs - and do it on 30/60 day dev / launch cycles. WIN-T (Increment 2 and beyond) will serve as an enabler to provide War-Fighters a ubiquitous network, robust bandwidth and hardware agnostic access to the cloud based services as well as authoritative data sources. End-User experience with "capabilities" will further catalyze this initiative as network permeation throughout Army echelons continues. In short order, the Army may be able to assemble mission specific apps in an on demand manner. This is End-User empowerment.

To see the existing mobile apps now, go to the US Army Marketplace (with CAC card). Some apps are available through Apple App store and Android Market. The BC environment is going to get real interesting in the very near future.

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