Written by Tod Tompkins
The “Defense Watch” column in the August issue of National Defense immediately caught my attention. Editor Sandra Erwin tackles the defense budget debate in the article, “War Over Defense Jobs Diverts Attention From Bloated Spending.” Although generally expected, especially in a major election year, it seems like the conversation has moved away from how to create meaningful cost savings while enabling the mission, to a focus on who can create the most noise and pass the buck. Ms. Erwin sums up the current environment as, “The looming ‘sequester’ has, for now, derailed any attempt at rational downsizing at the Defense Department.” From what I’m hearing from my peers and partners in the federal technology community, it appears this stance is not limited to the DoD.
As industry partners, we need to serve as a resource to help agencies meet their missions, especially in these challenging times. We must help government find solutions to the budget crisis, allowing agencies the financial freedom to implement modernization efforts such as mobile and big data analytics, while preserving mission critical functions and systems. For example, Micro Focus Federal provides support for the lifecycle of the mainframe. One of our core focus areas is helping COBOL-based legacy systems migrate to new platforms, enabling development on less expensive platforms and coding in newer languages – ultimately creating significant cost savings, often in year one.
Ms. Erwin’s article also notes that, “Some of the rhetoric about sequestration has been melodramatic. But if the ax does come down as the law prescribes and chops $50 billion from next year’s defense budget, industry will take the brunt of the pain.” We need to work together not only to help government, but also to maintain the private sector job force in this economic time. Do you have ideas to help Congress or federal leaders slim the budget while maintaining the mission? Let me know your ideas for helping the government create cost savings. Connect with us in the comments section below, on Facebook or Twitter.