Darin A. Ladd

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Alan R. Heminger, PhD


The Air Force presently spends more than $4.9 billion annually on information technology (IT). However, the IT infrastructure has been identified as inappropriate for supporting the Air Force mission. To improve this situation the Air Force has identified infrastructure flexibility as key to future success. To find the level of flexibility, this study measured the perception of Air Force communications, computer, and information career field members (33SX and 3COX2 career fields) on the level of IT infrastructure modularity (data modularity and application modularity) and integration (platform compatibility and network connectivity). This thesis looked at two constructs that indicate IT infrastructure flexibility-modularity and integration. A survey was sent to communication, computer, and information career field members to measure the degree of modularity and integration. Based on respondents’ views, the Air Force's IT infrastructure does have some areas of flexibility, but other areas indicate very low flexibility. A primary concern is the flexibility of the Air Force's data and applications. Responses to both data flexibility and application flexibility survey questions consistently indicated low flexibility. The responses suggest the Air Force could achieve greater flexibility by turning its attention to database issues such as variety and adaptability of database protocols. Communications and platform flexibility are partially supported. Results indicate that reducing communication bottlenecks and fewer steps for accessing data from external end user locations could enable greater flexibility. Senior and Junior IT leaders only diverged on one area of flexibility. Senior leaders had a higher rating on the number of entry points or interfaces available to external end users.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number