The Department of Defense officially updated its overarching guidance governing how its components buy software and associated technologies to better align with recent changes in other statutes and policies that impact its IT functions, DefenseScoop has learned.
Pentagon Chief Information Officer John Sherman formally approved the new requirements on Thursday by canceling the 2020 version of DOD Instruction 5000.82 — then titled “Acquisition of Information Technology” — and issuing its latest iteration, deemed “Acquisition of Digital Capabilities.”
“Use of the term ‘digital’ is a recognition that IT is not just a back-office function. It is critical and increasingly integrated across all capabilities,” Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Cmdr. Tim Gorman told DefenseScoop in an email on Friday.
The title change and reformed inclusions, he noted, are meant to reflect the CIO’s recognition that “IT policies apply not just to the traditional notion of networks and computers, but to business and weapons capabilities that must consider aspects like their need for spectrum, their use of cloud services, and their ability to manage software.”
DOD Instruction 5000.82 is one element of the department’s Adaptive Acquisition Framework.
Broadly, this new document sets the policies and requirements for DOD entities’ procurement of digital assets.
“It consolidates IT policy requirements for the acquisition community not just for compliance purposes but to help the community ensure that they consider all IT-related aspects of their digital capability acquisition,” Gorman said.
Roots of this revamp “stem from reorganization of policy in support of the Adaptive Acquisition Framework and ensuring that IT policy was appropriately consolidated under the correct functional instruction,” he also noted.
The latest version of this guidance is roughly a dozen pages longer than the 2020 publication.
Among new additions are sections specifically related to software and cloud infrastructure acquisitions.
“Software and cloud content is not new, but existed primarily as guidance through memorandums. This instruction codifies that guidance for the acquisition community through a policy issuance,” Gorman said.
New responsibilities, including for DOD’s Research and Engineering directorate, were a result of realigning policy content to organizational charter updates, he confirmed.
“The major updates in this version include alignment with updates to existing policy and codification of guidance that existed as memorandums. For example, this policy codifies the data degrees identified in the Deputy Secretary of Defense Memo, Creating Data Advantage,” Gorman told DefenseScoop.