Lethality

CIO Outlines Digital Modernization for DOD IT Personnel

June 7, 2019 | BY Terri Moon Cronk

The Defense Department needs a foundational way of computing as it moves forward in developing applications for the cloud, Chief Information Officer Dana Deasy told DOD's information technology professionals in a worldwide video teleconference from the Defense Information Systems Agency at Fort Meade, Maryland.

Man speaks to a conference room full of military and civilian personnel.
CIO Speaks
Dana Deasy, the Defense Department's chief information officer, speaks to DOD's information technology professionals in a worldwide video teleconference from the Defense Information Systems Agency at Fort Meade, Md., May 15, 2019. He said warfighters are the center of digital modernization, and getting the latest IT tools into their hands as quickly as possible is vital.
Photo By: Thomas Burton, DOD
VIRIN: 190515-D-ZZ999-001E

Here are the CIO's key points:

In the center of the digital modernization is the warfighter, and getting the latest IT tools into warfighters' hands as quickly as possible is key.

"We're going to put enabling technologies on top of the cloud, such as artificial intelligence," Deasy said, noting that other technologies in the cloud will include unlimited compute capacity and storage, command and control, and cyber.

Joined by an 11-person panel of IT and cyber leaders in DOD, Deasy talked about the department's digital modernization vision, what it entails, how it touches everyone in DOD and how the department will move forward.

Service members help a simulated victim during an exercise.
EOD Exercise
Explosive ordnance disposal technicians help a simulated victim at the Warfighter Challenge at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., May 9, 2019. The exercise provides airmen the chance to experience explosive ordnance disposal problem-solving scenarios and network with others in the career field to help improve the mission. In a May 15, 2019, town hall meeting, Dana Deasy, the Defense Department's chief information officer, said warfighters are at the center of digital modernization, and getting the latest information technology tools into their hands as quickly as possible is vital.
Photo By: Samuel King Jr., Air Force
VIRIN: 190509-F-OC707-0205F

Deasy said the Defense Department's cloud that will be stood up at DISA will be an enterprise of "multi vendors in a multi environment at DOD."

"We will continue to have a very robust internal cloud capability," he said. "We will have a general-purpose cloud to … serve a lot of our needs, but there is no one cloud that can take care of everything, so we have fit-for-purpose [clouds]. Where we see a unique requirement for cloud compute that cannot be handled by general purpose, we will stand up fit-for-purpose clouds."

To become more efficient in the ways DOD reforms how it works, a reform program is looking to address all aspects of the department's computer landscape, Deasy said.

National Guard soldiers work at a computer.
Cyber Shield
Virginia National Guard soldiers work at Camp Atterbury, Ind., during Cyber Shield 19, April 16, 2019. More than 800 National Guard personnel from 40 states and territories tested their skills in response to cyber incidents, along with civilians from state government agencies, federal agencies, industry partners and academia. Dana Deasy, the Defense Department's chief information officer, said warfighters are at the center of digital modernization, and "enabling technologies" such as cyber will be an important element to help in getting IT tools into their hands as quickly as possible.
Photo By: Cotton Puryear, Army
VIRIN: 190416-A-BN267-918

A voluntary CAC-enabled survey on the Global DOD CIO Town Hall will be available for employees at https://www.deps.mil/CIOsurvey.