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Sharing Applications across the DoD to Get Programs Fielded Faster

Dave Dantus, Vice President, US Public Sector
December 19, 2023

The US government software modernization policy encourages federal agencies, including the Department of Defense (DoD), to leverage investments already made in application development and authorizations to operate (ATOs). The goal of repurposing existing, working applications is to enable agencies to reduce development time and costs by leveraging software that has been purchased and implemented by another team. 

As part of the DoD software modernization strategy, the DoD has been actively pursuing initiatives to increase the reuse of commonly used software applications. Improved information sharing between different agencies also facilitates seamless communication and collaboration, ensuring a more cohesive and responsive government ecosystem.

Government off-the-shelf (GOTS) products meet DoD software standards.

You’ve heard of commercial off-the-shelf software, or COTS. Now there’s GOTS: government off-the-shelf applications developed to meet the specific needs of government agencies and easily shared and adapted to meet other agencies’ needs. 

Benefits of Appian GOTS products:

  • Lower cost. Leveraging software that has already been used and developed by another government department saves costs to the US taxpayer.

  • Quicker acquisition. Given the uniqueness of the application, many GOTS solutions are reusable and qualify as a sole-source procurement.

  • Faster time to deploy. Repurposing existing applications that already received authorization to operate (ATO) expedites go-live. And using proven applications or modules that are working effectively increases confidence in the software. 

  • Aligns with the government’s emphasis on shared platforms and common standards. The GOTS approach fosters collaboration and integration across agencies. Repurposing software products aligns with the principles of sustainability and adaptability, enabling agencies to respond more swiftly to evolving requirements and technological advancements while ensuring a coherent and streamlined modernization strategy.

DoD software modernization using composable low-code software.

Many DoD organizations use Appian low-code software to gain agility and speed in designing and delivering enterprise-class mission systems. In fact, the Department of Defense represents one of the fastest growing markets at Appian. In Q3 2023 alone, Appian won two large, enterprise-scale projects with new DoD customers. And Appian’s team serving the DoD has tripled in size in the last five years.

DoD organizations appreciate the low-code architecture and process automation capabilities of the Appian Platform that reduce development time by 90%, accelerate processes by 95%, and offer a return on investment in less than six months.

But Appian’s composable architecture makes it even more appealing to the DoD in light of their goal of reusing software across agencies and branches. Appian’s modular, visual, low-code architecture enables other departments to leverage the Appian applications. Discrete modules can be taken as a unit and incorporated into new workflows. 

Not only does this approach save development time and costs, but teams are assured of using a proven, working application. The fact that applications built on the Appian Platform have received authorization to operate (ATO) accreditation by the federal government further expedites go-live.

Repurposing contract writing applications across the DoD.

Contract writing systems built on Appian have become the de facto standard at the Department of Defense. During the past year, the US Army, other DoD branches, and several components of the Fourth Estate selected Appian applications to replace their legacy procurement systems. 

A major selling point? The composability of applications built on the Appian Platform. 

All the organizations were able to “lift and shift” design objects from the successful US Air Force CON-IT contract writing system built on Appian and make adjustments to meet their individual needs—saving time and millions of dollars in development costs. CON-IT, as a matter of fact, was based on the DoD’s first Appian contract writing system, DISA IDEAS

Since the applications built on the Appian Platform are proven, agencies minimize risk. The Appian Platform is IT infrastructure-agnostic, which ensures application deployment flexibility to meet current needs and match future requirements. The justification and approval process confirmed that there is nothing else like Appian on the market in terms of modularity and ease of modification while complying with the DoD’s stringent requirements.

Repurposing investigative case management software.

Investigative case management solutions are another example of repurposing Appian GOTS applications at the DoD. Appian was recently chosen to provide an investigative case management solution to a high-profile US federal defense agency, based on its successful deployment of a similar solution to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI). Time to deployment will be greatly reduced by leveraging the existing AFOSI application.

Learn more about Appian solutions for defense organizations and how you can leverage existing GOTS applications to expedite your mission.