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In 2003, when the IAE team began its work to choose the IT solutions needed to streamline and integrate the federal acquisition processes, the team considered three strategies: “adopt, adapt, acquire.” In FY 2008, due to the need to meet new challenges, a fourth strategy was added—“aggregate.”
- Adopt--The federal acquisition community would “adopt” existing systems if they met common requirements, were state-of-the-art or near state-of-the-art, and could scale to support the entire federal government.
- Adapt--Those existing government systems that could not, in their native form, be extended to the entire federal procurement community were “adapted.” In this option, IAE leveraged existing systems and enhanced them through an acceptable level of investment so they could perform their given functionality governmentwide.
- Acquire--Then commercial products were “acquired” that best fit the requirements using performance-based contracting to maximize creativity of industry solutions.
- Aggregate—The “aggregation” strategy focuses on both business services and data in the acquisition lifecycle. The functions performed by the current IAE applications will be migrated to a set of acquisition business services that will be implemented consistent with Service-Oriented Architecture concepts and technology, and will leverage open source software and open source software development methodologies. Aggregating and leveraging a set of common services such as reporting and database management will greatly simplify the IT infrastructure. Managing a few databases, as opposed to the current need to manage eight, will reduce redundancy and ultimately improve data accuracy and reduce the cost of operating shared services.