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Identifying the Return on Investment for Army Migration to a Modular Open Systems Approach for Future and Legacy Systems

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Technical Report,25 Jul 2016,05 Apr 2017

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Defense Acquisition University Aberdeen Proving Ground United States

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The National Defense Authorization Act NDAA of 2015, cites the modular open systems approach MOSA as both a business and technical strategy to reduce the cost of system development and sustainment. The Better Buying Power 3.0 directive sets the expectation that MOSA adoption will result in increased innovation and competition, leading to lower cost. With a few exceptions, policy directs developers to consider open source software first when building new capability. Even with the abundance of guidance, a lingering question remains. What is the return on investment ROI for building and or migrating systems to a MOSA This research sought to answer that question. To answer the question raised above a review of a cross-section of MOSA-related material was conducted. The material included industry analysis, system and software development best practices, governmentDoD policy, and acquisition law and guidance. The research revealed an overwhelming amount of data highlighting the benefits of using MOSA both in industry and government. Industry has fully adopted MOSA and continues to innovate on ways to deliver capabilities and software services using MOSA constructs. One can see MOSA in service-oriented architecture, cloud services, modular programing, and the proliferation of open-source software. Numerous examples of MOSA-related efficiencies were uncovered. These include streamlined development made possible by the use of modular and open-source software, reduced reliance on proprietary products by selecting open standards, ease of sustainment and upgrades made possible by modular code, well-defined interfaces using commonly agreed standards, and obeying the rules of cohesion and coupling. A number of specific project examples across government and industry attest to the value of using MOSA. While the research did not definitively quantify the ROI for implementing MOSA, it clearly shows there is a significant ROI for adopting MOSA.

Subject Categories:

  • Defense Systems
  • Computer Systems Management and Standards

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