DOD's transformation needs to go double time

The Quadrennial Defense Review in 2001 embraced the department's future network-centric vision, but the problem was that there was no emphasis on speed to transform, according to one senior defense IT leader.

Priscilla Guthrie, deputy Defense CIO, said the recently released 2006 QDR puts a quicker pace on implementation.

'The QDR, pre-[Sept. 11, 2001] strategy was a good strategy, but the problem is the pace of implementation hasn't been adequate,' Guthrie said today at the Federal Networks 2006 conference in McLean, Va., sponsored by Suss Consulting and Telestrategies. 'In this QDR, you see an emphasis on the pace of change.'

DOD submitted the QDR to Congress earlier this month along with the fiscal 2007 budget request.

Guthrie said a part of that change is an increased focus on network operations. She said the department continues to struggle with getting connectivity to troops on the battlefield.

Guthrie said the DOD needs industry's help in bringing comm to the mobile tactical user.

'It is a pesky problem. This is the 911 and 411 problem'someone is on the edge, someone is on the battlefield and something doesn't work,' Guthrie said. 'How do they call someone and get support? It's a big deal. I don't think we have good models.'

One solution will be a bigger emphasis on disruptive technologies, such as enterprisewide managed services and service-oriented architectures, Guthrie said.

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