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According to an article in NextGov, the U.S. Army wants to formalize its process for developing mobile apps and is turning to industry and researchers as key resources.
The Army Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS) has issued an RFI to “help the Army better understand current and future market solutions, availability of services, industry best practices, …tools, and products capable of enhancing … the Army’s efforts to develop a software development contract for mobile device applications.”
The PEO EIS goes on to say it envisions itself as a one-stop-shop within the Army for secure and scalable mobile apps. However, this doesn’t mean the work will all be handled by government employees. In fact, the RFI language states they will be acquiring the services below from a number of large and small business partners capable of developing applications:
- Application Product Design Market Strategy/Analysis
- Requirements Development/Validation
- Architecture and Standards Development
- Integration with DoD Systems and Commercial Capabilities
- Integration with Carriers
- Security and Information Assurance
The office has not picked any preferred mobile operating systems at this point as it indicates an openness to developing across all mobile platforms including iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile, and Blackberry.
The use of mobile applications within the DoD is an interesting, perhaps overdue, development. As these devices become smarter and more secure, expect to see further opportunities emerge in rapid, narrow function application development. Clearly, interesting possibilities exist for vendors willing to create early relationships and build strong value propositions.