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Information Sharing: The Challenge for DoD

At a recent ACT/IAC event, the Department of Defense Deputy CIO, Dave Wennergren, covered various DoD-wide challenges involving information security: 1) Interagency Collaboration, 2) Cloud Computing, and 3) Information Sharing.

DoD previously sought to create larger and fewer IT systems to integrate and align information across agencies, yet such systems have proven slow to develop with high failure rates. Consequently, we've seen the rise of smaller, more localized/regionalized systems across the Department to address needs within individual agencies. While this move allows for faster transfer of information and greater efficiency, a new problem has arisen: how to satisfy the growing need to integrate and align information across the Department among the various agencies. Wennergren indicated that the government is already employing online collaboration tools like Facebook, Twitter, and Wiki technology to accomplish these goals. Other examples include a tool currently used by the Defense Language Institute, the Intelligence Community's (IC) "Intellipedia," and a program called "A-Space," used by analysts within the IC.

Wennergren briefly highlighted the growing demand for cloud computing across DoD. Cloud computing is anticipated to be a major priority for the Obama administration. DISA's Rapid Access Computing Environment (RACE) program, discussed in a previous blog, is one such example.

Wennergren then discussed a major challenge concerning information sharing: reconciling the apparently diametrically-opposed demands of security and sharing. DoD needs the ability to share information efficiently across agencies, while storing and transmiting this information securely. One challenge is connecting people on different networks possessing different levels of security clearance. Wennergren noted the need for secure browsing, "open" architecture, and thinking "modularly," and stressed the importance of leveraging Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). He pointed to DISA's need for object-level encryption and other emerging technologies.

So what are the implications for the contracting community? Contractors investing in technologies that can aid DoD in its interagency collaboration efforts stand to gain, while small businesses specializing in such technologies could also have ample opportunities to team with the larger systems integrators, typically prime contractors on the major Defense IT contract vehicles, like DISA's ENCORE II. As Wennergren repeatedly stated, not only the government, but also contractors themselves must embrace Web 2.0 in order to be successful.

Upcoming opportunities related to information security include:

  • DISA's potential requirement for Fielding Support for the Global Command and Control System - Joint (GCCS-J) Program Management Office, Opportunity ID 54356
  • DTIC's requirement for the Software Networks Information Modeling and Simulation TAT (SNIM), Opportunity ID 48774
  • DISA's potential recompete for Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI) Registry COTS Product with Unlimited Licenses for NCES Usage, Opportunity ID 50418

Because the amount of information needed to be stored and shared securely across DoD will only grow in the coming years, contractors can rest assured that information sharing solutions will remain in high demand.

Comments (Comment Moderation is enabled. Your comment will not appear until approved.)
The public domain procedure at might help to provide that needed appropriately-secured information fusion and sharing capability.
# Posted By Roy Roebuck | 3/26/09 11:00 AM