3 big changes in how the Army thinks about software | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

3 big changes in how the Army thinks about software

The Army is changing the way it buys software and has started entering into new agreements with industry to acquire the intellectual property rights of software.

Generally, contractors that develop systems for the Army own the actual code they write. This means if an update needs to be made quickly, the Army has to go back to the contractor and often pay for updates because they don’t own the rights to the programming.

“It used to be the way we looked at intellectual property rights is we kind of saw it as a binary decision. The government either bought it or we didn’t. Most times we didn’t because it was very expensive,” Maj. Gen. Randy Taylor, commander of Communications and Electronics Command (CECOM), told C4ISRNET in a May 20 interview. “The reason it was so expensive is because what company would want to compromise that?”

CECOM is responsible for sustaining and refurbishing Army systems such as radars and radios. As software has become a critical enabler, and a crutch in some cases, CECOM has had to grapple with sustaining and maintaining software for the service as the organization’s mission now includes ensuring refurbishment and readiness of command, control, communications, computers, cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C5ISR) systems.