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    I need some assistance understanding the difference between a "tech refresh", a modernization, and a replacement. From what I read, "tech refresh" seems to be more related to hardware upgrades and not so much software. Regardless, as it pertains to software can someone please tell me the difference between an upgrade and a replacement? As we transition from GOTS to COTS, I view this as a complete replacement or transition from our current system. Is this synonymous with a modernization? What are the implications of a misnomer? It is my understanding one of the largest factors is the color of money. Is it possible for an initiative to change from one type of effort to another mid-process?


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    Question: I need some assistance understanding the difference between a "tech refresh", a modernization, and a replacement. From what I read, "tech refresh" seems to be more related to hardware upgrades and not so much software. Regardless, as it pertains to software can someone please tell me the difference between an upgrade and a replacement? As we transition from GOTS to COTS, I view this as a complete replacement or transition from our current system. Is this synonymous with a modernization? What are the implications of a misnomer? It is my understanding one of the largest factors is the color of money. Is it possible for an initiative to change from one type of effort to another mid-process?

    ANSWER:

    PowerPoint Prehttps://www.dau.edu/about/Documents/Software%20Acquisition%20Pathway%20DAU%20West%206%20Jan%202021%20-%20v2a.pdfsentation (dau.edu)

    The above link is a briefing from The DoD Sr lead for SW Acquisition discussing many of the topics you mention above. You are right to assume tech refresh is normally a hardware term where physical servers, laptops, etc are upgraded with no change to the software. All software has patches, and version upgrades which will be implemented on a regular basis to include items such as bug fixes, security upgrades, or new features in general. A Database Administrator (DBA) is responsible for running the patches in softare programs after the patch is approved.

    The term Modernization does not have a concrete meaning within the DoD and software community. “Modern Software” could refer to items developed in the past 2 years, 10 years, or 20 years; some definitions are based on HOW software was developed (modern software development styles such as Agile have been around since 2001, and scrums have been around since 1996). Therefore, don’t get hung up on “Modernization”.

    Switching from COTS to GOTS will be a complete system replacement because the software base will be different (equivalent of using Defense Travel System and switching to Travelocity). Starting the GOTS program utilizes Procurement funding, and modifying the system usually utilizes O&M, but some programs have continued using Procurement for their modifications.

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