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United States Air Force Acquisition Management Digital Transformation

Scott Dulman
April 19, 2019

Air Force's Audacious Goal

The United States Air Force's senior leadership has set a goal of shaving a collective 100 years from the schedules in the service's acquisition programs. The Air Force has achieved significant early success, especially in low-code software development. Some application development projects that formerly took years are now deployed in weeks or months.

The Air Force is finding innovative ways to institutionalize speed and agility throughout the service. Against the 100-year target, they have mapped out strategies that will cut 62 years from current acquisition schedules. The Air Force employs agile development, rapid prototyping and cloud software to meet its ambitious objectives.

The Air Force's CON-IT program is a model for successful digital transformation in the Department of Defense (DoD). CON-IT is the initiative to migrate all of its contracting offices to a single contract management system. The application will eventually replace seven legacy contract writing systems. The service designed, developed, and deployed the CON-IT cloud application in fewer than nine months.

Cloud Contract Management Modernization Model for DoD

The United States Air Force deployed a digital solution for its CON-IT program on the Appian platform. The program's primary technologies include low-code software, platform as a service (PaaS), and software-as-a-service (SaaS). The Appian solution standardizes acquisition contract writing across the Air Force, drives efficiency for the acquisition and contracting communities, reduces costs, and provides a platform to make functionality enhancements and statutory changes fast. The system is in production with Authority to Operate (ATO) certification.

The CON-IT program achieved many impressive digital transformation results in less than one year that include:

    • Nine months from CON-IT contract award to system deployment

    • 14,000 contracts awarded through CON-IT in first 10 months

    • 4,000 application users

The CON-IT solution expanded on a baseline from acquisition systems developed by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) on Appian. DISA's operationally proven contract writing solutions automate the processes involved in offering, issuing, and managing a DoD contract. Appian's powerful business process management technology, in combination with its low-code development platform, enabled the Air Force to easily configure and develop legacy acquisition systems into CON-IT, helping the Air Force meet specific requirements for the contracting community.

The Appian cloud solution is hosted in an Impact Level 4 (IL4) data center, which covers controlled unclassified information (CUI) that under law or policy requires protection from unauthorized disclosure and other mission-critical data. Appian's ability to deliver at IL4 provides a distinct advantage to DoD Agencies. The Appian cloud has a comprehensive security and compliance program, including FedRAMP 2.0, that meets more industry standards than other application Platform-as-a-Service (aPaaS) vendors.

Read this Federal News Network article to learn more about the Air Force's acquisition management digital transformation and success of the CON-IT cloud contract management modernization program.