Digital Thread and the Impact on Weapon System Acquisition Cost Growth 2021-01-0026
The traditional acquisition and development cycles of a weapon system by government agencies goes through multiple stages throughout the life cycle of the product. Over the last few decades, many of the United States military equipment had experienced acquisition cost growth. Many studies by the Department of Defense indicates that the cost growth is a result of multiple factors including the development and manufacturing stages of the product. Organizations with multiple operation sites that goes across multiple states or even countries and continents are finding it increasingly difficult to share informational databases to ensure the corporate synergy between multiple sites or divisions. For such organizations, there exist the need to synchronize the operations and have standard and common database where everything is stored and equally accessed by different sites. Digital transformation sounds real exotic and futuristic and promise to reduce operation costs of big organizations. Digital Transformation promises that it would improve the quality control and the quality of a product. While exotic, Digital Transformation remains a challenging proposition that would require some initial investment to setup the infrastructure for such system to operate successfully. Along with the initial setup cost of the system, there needs to be a change in the culture of running the business in each individual site to have that much needed synergy across the multiple divisions or sites. In this paper, we will examine the effect of the Digital transformation in general and utilizing the Digital Thread specifically to improve the quality and quality control of a product as well as to mitigate the risk of the cost growth of military programs.