DISA Director Shares Joint Information Environment Vision
By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Aug. 9, 2013 During remarks at the Defense Information Systems Agency’s Forecast to Industry Day here today, the organization’s director discussed plans to keep pace with the rapidly changing joint information environment that connects war fighters around the globe.
Air Force Lt. Gen. Ronnie D. Hawkins said he recognizes Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey’s plan to implement next-generation capabilities accordingly.
“We see DISA as being that primary role for the integrator … of how we bring the JIE into its operational capability for the warfighter,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins also acknowledged the challenges ahead in changing the Defense Department’s tactics, techniques and procedures and integrating that culture on a cyberspace landscape with numerous networks.
“We’ve got a tough challenge ahead of us to move into the deployed environment with … the next generation of capabilities,” he said.
Development of the Department of Defense Information Network will include no-notice inspector general reviews, personnel moves, integrated financial execution and planning and converged enterprise services and chief information officer functions, Hawkins explained.
“We are looking at that greater emphasis on the efficacy [of] working with enterprise,” he said.
As such, the general noted plans to pivot on delivering capability in short periods of time, taking a sprint versus a marathon approach in acquisition with a focus on better buying power.
To mature the joint information environment from visualization to implementation, Hawkins said, will be a painstaking process.
In the meantime, the general added, DISA officials will continue to assess ways to best develop the joint information environment through a coalition lens to better work with allied nations.
Hawkins recalled naysayers, some of whom even questioned the feasibility of launching the joint information environment.
“I’ve challenged our folks to look at it from a different vein,” Hawkins said. “Two-and-a-half years ago, people said we would not do enterprise e-mail.”
He also noted in recent years that some seemed leery of DISA’s ability to reach 1.5 million users on enterprise email, and just a year and a half ago, few predicted DISA’s implementation of mobile device management.
“I’m not bragging, but I’m here to tell you we’ve done that here in DISA,” the general said. “We have a lot of visionaries within this organization. We’re focused on delivering for the warfighter.”