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FCW : July 30, 2015
Buy July 30, 2015 FCW.COM 17 BY BRIAN ROBINSON or It’s a timeless question — and the answer might not be as clear-cut as agencies think when it makes sense to invest in new technology” and when to stay with something that is still reliable and fully supports the Navy’s mission. Nevertheless, new — even if that means embracing a modified version of old — is the goal for most agencies. The question then becomes whether to buy or find a way to efficiently and cost-effectively build. From custom to COTS Commercial off-the-shelf software has long been the answer for many government needs. For example, agencies have used Microsoft’s suite of word-processing, spreadsheet, collaboration and email applications for years. However, the more complex the requirements that COTS software is expected to meet, the more that software must be custom- ized. At some point, customization becomes so extensive and costly that it makes more sense for agencies to build the software themselves. The Defense Information Systems Agency reached that point a few years ago when officials reviewed COTS appli- cations and concluded that the available options were not appropriate, were too expensive or would have to be changed too much to meet the agency’s workflow requirements. On the occasions when DISA officials turned to outside build? 0730fcw_016-019.indd 17 7/14/15 1:52 PM
July 15, 2015
August 15, 2015