It takes what feels like an eternity for the Pentagon to adopt new technology. Often a system is already outdated by the time it is ready for combat.

“It takes us a really long time to build anything new, usually between five to eight years for new technology to get to our warfighters,” Col. Bruce Lyman says. “In IT speak, five to eight years is a lifetime. So you really have to ask yourself: How is it you’re going to get to where we can be much like an Android or iPhone?”

Lyman thinks he has a solution to make military procurement more like developing apps, and to get new tech into the hands of soldiers faster. This is not just idle talk, either. Lyman says he just proved it can work.

Forty-Two Weeks

Lyman is a unique figure inside the Pentagon. As a U.S. Air Force reservist, he’s responsible for identification of emerging intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities. His specialty is managing the vast amount of data, such as images from drones, satellites, and intercepted signals. When he’s not in uniform, Lyman is the CEO of Enterprise Information Management, Inc. an info tech company that brings automation and data mining to make companies more efficient.

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Image courtesy of DoD