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DAF teams up with industry to reimagine software licensing and management

Last month, the DAF Digital Transformation Office (DTO) convened more than 100 digital tool providers, government contractors, and DAF subject matter experts at our first-ever Digital Tools for All workshop. During this interactive online event, digital advocates ideated on a new, mutually beneficial paradigm for enterprise-wide software licensing.


In addition to exploring how shifting the current software licensing model can better support the goals of all stakeholders, attendees began to strategize about pathways to make this vision a reality.

Lively discussions in chat rooms and breakout sessions surfaced some core themes:

>> The status quo isn’t working. Workshop participants agree, the current software purchasing and management approach is bad for the Air Force, bad for business, and bad for the country.

>> There’s mutual interest in exploring a new licensing model. Participants acknowledge that alternative business models can provide more value for the government and for its industry partners.

>> Smaller, nimble companies are especially open to this concept. While many workshop participants are interested in exploring enterprise-wide licensing, startups and small-to-medium-sized businesses are most inclined to embrace a changing model. 

>> Each company has individual needs and considerations. Due to the wide range of companies and products represented, there must be a tailored approach with some level of direct engagement. In addition to convening companies in group forums, the DTO should connect 1:1 to flesh out this concept. 

>> Companies recognize the value of non-monetary resources the government can trade. Examples include access to DAF data, references from the DAF to support new alliances with prime contractors and other industry partners, and assistance navigating the cyber security  process.

>> Transparency will be critical. Many workshop participants voiced a need for clear and open communication about how a Digital Tools for All concept will advance from development to implementation.

>> Stakeholders are ready to get to work. For example, as one initial step, workshop participants are intent on creating a catalog of known commercial and government tools, and aligning on a taxonomy.

What’s next for this initiative? Companies interested in participating will be notified about a formal invitation to participate in the next phase of concept development, and official communications will be posted to Workshop participants and other companies that want to learn more and stay in the loop about upcoming activities should complete this short questionnaire.

A recording from the workshop is also available for reference (passcode: 4n.X0sMc).

If you have any immediate questions about the Digital Tools for All initiative, please reach out to Vince “Swath” Pecoraro, DTO Lead Program Manager, via the Team page.


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