The Lead System Integrator (LSI) approach to building and integrating
large, complex systems has resulted in the failure of numerous
high-visibility programs, leading Congress to pass legislation limiting
its use and giving renewed interest to the idea of government acting as
its own systems integrator, or Government as the Integrator (GATI).
The use of GATI promises a number of benefits over the use of an LSI, including government control of the design of the system and software architectures, better visibility into program status and progress, and the development of technical expertise within the government acquisition workforce. However, the steady growth of interest in GATI has come with its own set of issues, most notably the results of downsizing and loss of technical expertise within the defense acquisition workforce over the past 20 years—and GATI efforts have not always gone well.
This presentation identifies many of the factors that determine whether GATI is more likely to be successful in certain domains and circumstances. It then covers the issues that can impede the successful use of GATI and offers specific guidance that has been used in GATI contexts to help with contractual vehicles and language, architectural approaches to facilitate GATI, and managing the technical staffing issues that challenge most GATI efforts. Different organizational implementation approaches and their advantages and disadvantages are presented and analyzed.