Navy Reversing Course On Outsourcing
By Sandra I. Erwin
Outsourcing the operations and maintenance of military information networks was a no-brainer in the ‘90s. Why not let industry do it better and cheaper? The Navy pioneered the concept with its $10 billion Navy-Marine Corps Intranet. The NMCI contract with EDS Corp. expires in 2010, and the Navy has decided to reverse course and take back ownership of the major components of the network on grounds that information operations are too sensitive to be in the hands of the private sector. But critics are saying that the Navy is setting itself up for failure.
“There is little basis for believing the Navy is capable of efficiently integrating … the pieces of a continuously evolving network,” says industry analyst Loren Thompson, of the Lexington Institute.
“Navy leaders ought to be asking themselves whether system integration of the world’s biggest intranet is really one of their core competencies — it isn’t.”