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DoD Going “Common Modular Open Architecture”

Bottom Line Up Front: DoD will require technology to be plug-and-play so anyone can develop any thing for any system.

Make Everything Plug-and-Play

We have previously discussed how the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act calls for the DoD to begin implementing an open architecture to allow all military technology to be plug-and-play. This week, the Army took another step in that direction by hosting talks with industry to discuss the initiative.

Army officials recently held their “first-ever meeting with defense industry executives about the Common Modular Open Architecture (CMOA) modernization initiative,” the service said in a Tuesday email to reporters, inviting them to a Monday briefing with Jeannette Evans-Morgis, chief systems engineer for the Assistant Secretary For Acquisition, Logistics, & Technology.

What Does This Mean?

It means the end of vendor lock. Proprietary designs or architectures are forbidden. From now on, every DoD vendor gets access to a common, open design and anyone can design a better mousetrap.

Now, open architecture undermines a longstanding business model, in which a company integrates disparate technologies into a system for the government in such a way that only that company, and none of its competitors, can install future upgrades. But, open architecture also allows innovative companies to sell their best technologies over and over again to multiple programs.

Do you have a better mousetrap? You can now access everybody else’s contracts and sell yours instead. The opportunity is huge!