As the person at Novetta responsible for leading the teams that onboard Department of Defense (DoD) mission systems to the commercial cloud, I’ve migrated a number of enterprise and mission capabilities to a cloud environment over the past three years. There have been more lessons learned than I could ever capture in a single post, but the biggest challenge I’ve identified across the DoD, when it comes to migrating to the cloud, is securing trained and knowledgeable resources. We are fighting a ‘war on talent’ as we struggle to enable a successful workforce in a new, digital environment.
I was fortunate enough to participate in Orange and Emerald Flag events in 2020. Orange Flag events initiate combat-relevant testing early in development to maximize resources across air, land, sea, space, and cyber domains to include joint and coalition forces. Emerald Flag multi-domain tests advance complex weapons systems by creating a ‘playground’ for testing. I have also been working with both teams on how to best use cloud technology to support their mission and improve collaboration across the country. Novetta is arguably one of the best Cloud Platform Providers, and the Air Force has some of the smartest test engineers; it is still a challenge to harness the ‘power of the cloud’ to its fullest extent because not many professionals in the Department have experience working within cloud environments.
I partnered up with one of these test engineers and co-authored an article discussing the need to train the workforce and guiding those in leadership to help us with the ‘tech-refresh’ by encouraging a software-intensive engineering mindset within their teams. While this article dug into the specific changes necessary in the Test and Evaluation community, these lessons learned can be applied across the entirety of the Department of Defense.