What if they installed an app and nobody used it? NMCI office finds thousands during assessment

The Navy-Marine Corps Intranet program office made a shocking discovery as it worked to reduce legacy applications and move computer seats to the departmentwide network: Thousands of apps the service had installed on its computers had no users.

After a technical assessment of 36,713 apps to determine which were compliant with NMCI's security policies and compatible with the Microsoft Windows 2000 operating system, Navy officials found that 20 percent to 30 percent of the programs were not being used.

'It was an interesting discovery,' said Allie Lawaetz, legacy applications manager for the NMCI program office. 'When it came time to find users for them, there were no users.'

The discovery has prompted the Navy to reconsider its policy on software.

The NMCI program office now requires command officials to account for each desktop PC program and provide the names of commands that use each application before network officials seek to certify the apps for use with NMCI.

Among the apps that will be eliminated are games, freeware or shareware, and test versions of software packages.

Lawaetz's office has also re-engineered the process to reduce legacy applications so contractor Electronic Data Systems Corp. can move seats faster to the NMCI environment.

Quarantined apps

All applications that fail testing under Windows 2000 are placed on what Navy officials call a quarantined workstation.

These multiuser workstations are not connected to the intranet and will operate only until the service decides what to do with the applications they provide.

The Navy plans to re-evaluate the apps to see which should be deleted and which can be adapted to work on NMCI.

Sorting them out

'The Navy is separating the sick and the lame and the unused from the ones that meet a certain baseline of health,' Lawaetz said.

Initially, he said, the Navy tried to migrate the entire system into the new operating environment.

NMCI will consolidate 200 networks into an intranet linking 411,000 sailors and Marines at sea and ashore at more than 300 Navy and Marine Corps bases in the United States, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Guam, Iceland and Japan.

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