Navy halts Web site and portal investments

Move designed to improve transition to DKO portal

This is temporary until we get a permanent solution, until we get an enterprise portal''Tina Donbeck, Navy's CIO office

Rick Steele

Before the Navy brings its IT infrastructure into the Defense Knowledge Online portal, service officials have to get a better handle on Navy Web site and portal investments.

Early last month, the Navy issued a moratorium on both the creation and upgrade of Web sites and portals. Service officials want to cut infrastructure costs, eliminate duplication and, ultimately, get the Navy in a better position to migrate to DKO, a single, enterprisewide portal for the military services.

'We have an opportunity to leverage the good work that's been done by the other services [on enterprise portal solutions]. The Navy's data management and collaboration needs can be met without having to reinvent the wheel, and we can consolidate and eliminate redundant investments along the way,' said Vice Adm. Mark J. Edwards, deputy chief of Naval operations for network and communications.

The Navy currently has 85 portals and 3,700 publicly registered Web sites, according to Tina Donbeck, enterprise transformation section head in the Navy's CIO office.
This doesn't account for the thousands of additional private Web sites maintained in the dotcom environment, she added.

Service officials plan to whittle the portal number down to three or four, and significantly lower the number of Web sites that are not in compliance with enterprise requirements.

'This is temporary until we get a permanent solution, until we get an enterprise portal,' Donbeck said.

The Navy will take a step in that direction in January, when officials expect to award a contract to move some Navy users over to DKO. The Navy also is looking at ways to consolidate and centrally manage its application process centers, and to reprogram dollars in other areas, which is consistent with ongoing efforts in the other services.

Effective immediately, Navy users can incur no new portal or Web site obligations without approval from the OPNAV N6. The N6 serves as the principal adviser to the chief of naval operations on network-centric issues.

Existing portals will operate in maintenance mode until further notice, Donbeck said. A waiver process has been established for portals deemed mission-critical.

'This effort will accelerate the deployment of a Navy central point of entry to authoritative data, core enterprise services and Web-centric applications that are vital in delivering information to the warfighter,' according to the guidance, NAVADMIN 275/06, which went out on Oct. 4.

The Navy is standing up a Navy Portal/Website Rationalization Integrated Process Team to work with the Naval Audit Service to ensure employees are in compliance with the moratorium. The Naval Audit Service is going to select commands and examine contracts to ensure no money has been spent on Web or portal upgrades and creation since the moratorium was issued.

Sniffers on networks

As part of the Legacy Network Reduction initiative, the Navy also is sending a team of officials to installations to put sniffers on networks. In addition, Donbeck said, the Navy Information Operations Command in Norfolk, Va., is also helping to enforce the effort by going out to commands and pinging Web sites to see if they are in compliance.

The Defense Knowledge Online portal, spearheaded by the Defense Information Systems Agency, will use the Army Knowledge Online portal as its foundation.

DKO has been described as the gateway for the military services to access the Global Information Grid. It also will provide access to Net-Centric Enterprise Services (NCES) capabilities.

'With the department's move to be more joint focused and aligned, we welcome the opportunity to collaborate with our sister services in developing a product that will have great benefit, not only to the Navy but to all of DOD,' Edwards said.

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