Stenbit says DOD is headed toward 'smart pull'

SALT LAKE CITY--Business processes in many Defense Department agencies are still focused on "smart push" and not in the "smart pull" direction the department is headed, said John Stenbit, Defense CIO.

Take for instance the foreign intelligence information sent out by the National Security Agency or maps that the National Imagery and Mapping Agency produces.

NSA's business rule is always in English, Stenbit said. The problem with that is NSA analysts are often collecting intelligence data that is not in English.

Conversely, if NIMA has decided to take pictures of targets in the Middle East and a soldier situated in Afghanistan is awaiting the pictures, it doesn't help him if NIMA takes an afternoon to edit and process the pictures before releasing them.

"I'd rather have raw pictures in Photoshop and have it on time," said Stenbit, who spoke yesterday at the 15th annual Software Technology Conference.

"I should have everything I need when I want it. I should be able to get it on my time scale, not on someone else's."

The time it takes to translate the data to English or to process the pictures is not as efficient, and sometimes not as accurate, for an agent awaiting the data who is situated in a foreign country, Stenbit said.

Defense employees need to have the ability to pull data anywhere and at any time and this capability requires that the DOD move its processes to the Internet.

"They need to change the way they do their business processes," Stenbit said. "They need to post things as they do their processing so someone else can pull it at the same time."

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