July 7, 2006

DoD releases OTD Roadmap

Author: Joe Barr

The Open Source Software Institute (OSSI) has announced the release of a Department of Defense (DoD) report entitled the Open Technology Development Roadmap which focuses on how to make the use of open technology development an integral part of the Department of Defense (DoD) software acquisition and development processes.

According to OSSI, "OTD methodology will enable DoD organizations and contractors to rapidly adapt and extend existing software capabilities in response to shifting threats and requirements without, being locked in to a specific vendor or held hostage to proprietary technologies."

The 79 page report defines Open Technology Development, explains the key need that it fulfills, and makes concrete recommendations on how to make its use a standard operating procedure within the DoD.

According to the report, Open Technology Development "combines salient advances" in four key areas:

  • Open Standards and Interfaces
  • Open Source Software and Designs
  • Collaborative/Distributive culture and online support tools
  • Technological Agility

The report distinguishes between open source and OTD, since ODT code may be developed internally at the DoD and only available for distribution within the department.

NewsForge spoke briefly this afternoon with John Scott, one of the report's three authors. Scott told us the biggest single benefit OTD brings to the DoD is not in cost savings, but in agility: getting IT tools to those who use them more quickly and efficiently.

John Weathersby of OSSI said "OTD is more than the technical benefits of open source. OTD focuses on the changing, evolving business model...how open source is, and will become, an integral part of the DoD business process."

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