Press "Enter" to skip to content

The lessons from the Air Force CSO’s resignation

Longtime listeners know that the JEDI cloud contract was a fascination for me, and that managed to not come to a conclusion.   At the same time, the Air Force was working on their own effort.  Multicloud, DevOps type project.   And per some reporting by Protocol, turns out that’s not going well either. 

The Air Force’s Chief Software Officer quit over frustration with the project – and blasted the efforts on LinkedIn.  

“Some are starting to use the size of the DoD as an excuse to claim that Enterprise Services cannot succeed in the Department,” he wrote, and continued We have people reinventing the wheel, whether for good reasons or bad reasons, whether it’s ego-driven or for little kingdom-building exercises, and so it’s been a challenge to start bringing everybody together, to realize that if we want to get to the all-domain vision that we keep preaching for many years, that’s not even really new, we need to start having a cohesive cybersecurity and IT capability stack”

There’s a suggestion in the resignation too about a lack of modern enterprise tech experience within the military leadership, and a lack of coordination.   Again quoting: “There are 100,000 software developers in the DoD.  We are the largest software organization on the planet, and we have almost no shared repositories and little to no collaboration across DoD Services”

Why do we care?

Sound familiar?     My government focused listeners are probably not surprised… although this is a very public criticism of a very large enterprise.   Digital transformation, much?   

It’s easy to dismiss government as incompetent – it’s not.    It’s larger, at a different scale, and faces unique challenges of that size.  My takeaway is this – without specific investment in managing technology with it’s own expertise, any project will suffer.   That’s the criticism here… which I suspect could be levied against a lot of organizations.    It’s a competitive advantage still to invest.