Army Accelerates App Innovation and Delivery

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WASH, DC, April 29 -- The Army is currently developing another Apps for the Army challenge which will be the next increment of the Army Marketplace and expected to launch in 2012. A4A will expand participation to include public and industry developers.

“In 2010 the Apps for the Army challenge provided a venue for internal Army early adopters and innovators,” said Gary Blohm, the Army Chief Information Office/G-6’s lead for Army Software Transformation. “This time the Army wants to tap into industry, and not just for its well-known app development capabilities, but to help them look at new ways to broaden third party participation in the marketplace.”

In preparation for the next A4A, the CIO/G-6 is designing prototype monetization business models and addressing intellectual property rights, according to Blohm.

Army CIO/G6 efforts to accelerate innovation and speed delivery of applications include conducting a number of events that engage industry in changing the business models, practices and processes currently used to respond to warfighter needs. The events will help refine the existing prototype Army Application Marketplace and its capabilities and provide the foundation for next year’s A4A challenge.

“Our ability to adopt more agile practices and processes is based on the ongoing collapse and standardization of computing environments,” said Blohm. “This means we are looking to establish an online capability that can support applications that are accessed by a variety of devices across diverse mission areas.” While many think of apps and app marketplaces only for smartphones, the Army wants to use the marketplace for all types of apps.

In 2010 the Army kicked off its app innovation initiative by launching Apps for the Army (A4A), a challenge directed at unleashing the creativity of soldiers and Army civilians to develop solutions to enhance operational effectiveness and increase business productivity. Parallel efforts were conducted to establish a supporting proof of concept application marketplace with streamlined processes and nascent capabilities provided by DoD such as the DoD Storefront, forge.mil and RACE. Its initial set of capabilities supported the distribution of the A4A winning apps.

Contact: M. McBride, Army CIO/G-6 margaret.m.mcbride2.civ@mail.mil

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