Stenbit urges IT crews to be forward-thinking

Stenbit urges IT crews to be forward-thinking

MONTGOMERY, Ala.'Air Force software programmers and IT managers heard it from the top yesterday: Don't develop any long-range projects unless they take into account of IP Version 6.

John Stenbit, assistant secretary of Defense for networks and information integration, used the annual Air Force Information Technology Conference to stump for the Defense Department's IT transformation, which includes the shift to IPv6 by 2008.

'I'm at the Pentagon shouting at the top of my lungs about what is obvious to everyone outside,' said the department's CIO. The goal of DOD IT transformation is to achieve a network-centric approach. Data, applications and communications must be interwoven to result in the right information to warfighters, Stenbit said.

'If you are working on something coming around 2008, think about what the world is going to look like and work back and see if you are doing the right thing,' he said.

Some elements, such as the launching of communications satellites to extend DOD's Global Information Grid to wireless devices, have been sharply questioned by congressional appropriators, who have called for cuts in Defense's IT funding requests.

As a result, Stenbit told reporters that he and other officials would be more careful in delineating requests for future tactical systems as compared to funds for more mundane administrative systems.

'We'll have crisper definitions' in reports supporting fiscal 2005 budget requests, he said, so members of Congress won't confuse them from what he called 'regular CIO IT' such as for finance and personnel systems'perennial problem items for DOD.

Another goal is to create data once and then tag it with metadata so that it can be found and used for multiple applications. To help make this happen, each Defense organization will have a manager 'assigned the task of creating the Oxford Dictionary for their domain,' Stenbit said.

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