General Dynamics (News - Alert) may not be the first place people turn to when it comes to IT services, but for the U.S. National Defense University, it was the go-to source, as evidenced by a recent task order handed down to the company for IT support, valued at $39.9 million.
General Dynamics is a defense industry contractor for business aviation, combat vehicles, weapons systems and munitions, shipbuilding and marine systems and mission-critical information systems and technology.
The order came down from the U.S. General Services Administration Federal Systems Integration and Management Center, and, should all the options contained in that order be exercised, the project is expected to run for five years. It is specifically geared toward getting the U.S. National Defense University to more effectively use the IT resources it has on hand, by improving the tools available for doing so. More specifically targeted by the work order includes improved network availability, information assurance, systems engineering and administration and maintenance for both the network and the servers which comprise it across the five different colleges that make up the U.S. National Defense University.
Zannie Smith, the senior vice president for General Dynamics Information Technology's National and Homeland Security division, provided more insight on the deal with some remarks. "Enterprise IT is driving innovation for defense, intelligence and civilian government agencies, including infrastructure consolidation and modernization, cross-domain information sharing and cloud computing. General Dynamics has extensive experience operating, managing and maintaining cost-effective enterprise IT solutions and we look forward to providing NDU with secure solutions that are developed for today and sustainable for the future."
Indeed, Smith is quite right here; the value of enterprise IT can scarcely be underestimated, even by the government. Improving efficiencies in any government agency should, ideally, result in cost savings and thus tax savings for those who pay for the government's operation. Some might look askance at the $39.9 million going to just one company, especially in the light of difficult budget circumstances all the way around, but there's a difference between wasteful spending and an investment, especially if the $39.9 million can be shown to have lowered costs somewhere along the line. Whether or not they actually do remains to be seen, but getting General Dynamics involved to shore up the IT operation for the U.S. National Defense University will hopefully pay dividends for all concerned.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey