What is Digital Transformation?
Depending on your role and functional specialty in the Department of the Air Force (DAF), the concept of Digital Transformation may have a different meaning.
The Air Force Vision is: A digitally-empowered Air Force equipped with an agile workforce, state-of-the-art technologies, and intuitive processes that drive model-based enterprise decision-making, enable automation, institutionalize open architectures, and leverage authoritative models and data to ensure seamless stakeholder collaboration across the acquisition lifecycle.
The Space Force Digital Vision is: An interconnected, innovative, digitally dominant force.
The 2023 AFMC Strategic Plan calls for the deployment of Digital Materiel Management– the concept of Digital Transformation applied to the Organize, Train, and Equip mission of AFMC.
Regardless of the domain, Digital Transformation is the disruptive enabler the DAF needs to maintain its competitive edge. It provides the Department with a suite of tools, resources and products that unify disjointed modernization efforts, enable discovery of cross-cutting opportunities and catapult the delivery of new capabilities to the field faster.
These digital enablers will allow programs/organizations to:
- streamline operations across all functions (not just engineering)
- collaborate with industry in peer-to-peer relationships
- increase data access and reliability to enable near real-time information
- drive model-based decision-making with authoritative sources
- dictate formats, standards, and architectures to optimize access/rights to system data
- enable the redesign and automation of cumbersome, manual processes
Digital Transformation empowers programs/organizations to design, develop, test and field complex weapon systems in years instead of decades.
To initiate momentum within the Acquisition and Sustainment enterprise, a Digital Campaign was established in March of 2020 with six distinct lines of effort:
- IT infrastructure
- models and tools
- standards, data, and architecture
- lifecycle strategies and processes
- policy and guidance
- workforce training and culture
The Campaign was sunset in Dec. 2022 after achieving notable successes. The momentum continues through the Digital Transformation Office, and the implementation of Digital Acquisition and Digital Materiel Management continues to be guided through formal strategies and priorities set by Acquisition leadership across AFMC, Space Systems Command, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (SAF/AQ), and Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisition and Integration (SAF/SQ).
Why Digital Materiel Management (DMM)?
An AFMC top priority is to transition the DAF lifecycle enterprise into one that leverages 21st century digital technology to deliver on our Organize, Train, and Equip mission. The vision includes a fully empowered digital workforce, trained and equipped to deliver integrated, innovative, and trusted capability, throughout the acquisition lifecycle, using DMM; enterprise level capability; and peer relationships with industry partners.
DMM is the process of integrating and employing digital methods across the entire lifecycle--from invention to retirement--for both warfighting capabilities as well as installation and mission support capabilities.
The five initiatives for realizing DMM are:
- Structure and Secure our Data
- Facilitate Digital training across AFMC
- Identify/facilitate access to tools
- Develop tactical Digital strategies
- Establish a Digital-first culture across AFMC.
Further development and planning associated with these initiatives is currently underway.
It is important to note that many digital enhancements and enterprise solutions directly rely upon each other to result in “digital enterprise solutions.” This reliance is also generally true across most of the AFMC Strategic Plan Lines of Effort and their respective initiatives. Thus, a coordinated, integrated, and simultaneous advancement is critical to realizing the overarching AFMC vision of “One AFMC – integrated, innovative, trusted, and empowered… indispensable to our nation, disruptive to our adversaries.”