Engagements: The Role of the Middleware Vendor in the Defense Industry

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Modern weapons have advanced to the point where increases in accuracy or yield result in few practical improvements. Instead of decreases in circular error probability or higher order detonations, improvements in military capability are measured by decreases in decision cycle time. The shorter the commanders’ decision cycle, the greater the likelihood that a military organization will be able to act decisively before an enemy has made sense of the battlespace. In the second decade of the 21st century, service oriented middleware is THE disruptive defense technology offering dramatic decreases in decision cycle time for combatants, logisticians and acquisitions professionals alike.

Often, however, both middleware capabilities and the nature of the associated integration planning and execution can be opaque to organizations new to middleware concepts and tools. Nowhere is this more true than in the government and defense sector, where perspectives and experience often differ significantly from those in the commercial sector where middleware vendors traditionally reside. It is here that the middleware vendor can have a rapid and salutary effect. By serving as a knowledge base and tailoring their approaches, middleware vendors can mitigate risks associated with transformation and help to ensure program success. This white paper discusses the defense sector’s unique organizations, skill sets and operating modes and recommends paths that middleware vendors can take to best serve this community.

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