What's old is new again for DOD IT

What's old is new again for DOD IT

BY THOMAS R. TEMIN AND DAWN S. ONLEY | GCN STAFF

Central management of information technology is making a comeback in the Defense Department, reversing a decade-long trend that followed the distributed computing revolution.

'The Army is going to re-engage centralized IT management,' Lt. Gen. Peter M. Cuviello, the Army's CIO, told Army IT workers at the Software Development Conference in Salt Lake City last week. 'Decentralization is very important on the battlefield, but on the business battlefield we don't want people doing their own thing.'

Slow e-mail

Cuviello lamented that it took four months of engineering to let one general send classified e-mail to a list of 70 other officers. Why? They were scattered across 45 of the Army's 6,300 mail servers, Cuviello said.

'We'll do some consolidating, for sure,' he said.

Separately, William Citera, the director of the Force Projection Directorate of the Army's Information Systems Engineering Command, said DOD brass might eventually create a single electronic command for all the armed forces. It would combine those of the individual services, such as the Army's Communications'Electronic Command, and would ensure interoperability among systems.

New Navy command

The Navy is also developing a new, three-star command that will 'better align all aspects of information technology,' said Rear Adm. Kenneth Slaght, vice commander of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command in San Diego.

Slaght announced the Navy's plans for the new command during the recent Joint-able Technology Symposium, also held in San Diego.

'We need to get our hands around the operational pieces of IT,' Slaght said.

The command proposal needs the final approval of the chief of naval operations. It is still unclear whether the command would be based in Norfolk, Va., or San Diego, Slaght said.

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