DISA considers 'capability broker'

The Defense Information Systems Agency is moving toward a
decision that could lead to the establishment of an independent
technology 'capability broker' to assist agency
officials.


The concept, according to John Garing, DISA's director for
strategic planning and information directorate, is to help DISA
more systematically identify best-of-class technologies and
services outside the defense sector that could have potential
military IT applications.


Garing, speaking at DISA's Forecast to Industry conference
in Arlington, Va., today, cited the need to keep abreast of private
sector technologies that DISA might consider adapting, but which
don't routinely come to DISA's attention. He pointed to
General Motor's OnStar system, which can retrieve vehicle
diagnostic information, as an example of the kind of IT tool that
could offer widespread benefits for military vehicle fleet
managers.


We want to 'look for technologies that aren't
necessarily known to the defense industry,' said David
Bennett, DISA deputy director, Command and Control
Capabilities.


DISA is reviewing a undisclosed number of requests for
information proposals the agency has received over the past three
months which suggested various ways to establish the role and
responsibilities of a capability broker, he said. Whether that
would be fulfilled by an internal position or team, or an outside
group was still under consideration. If it went to an outside
entity, 'it would require there is no conflict of
interest,' said Bennett.


A central aspect of the supporting a capabilities broker is to
speed up the time it takes to identify how technologies are being
applied outside of the Defense industry, and test their
applicability for DISA customers, Lt. Gen. Charles E. Croom, Jr.,
DISA's Director, told GCN.


If DISA officials decide to move forward with the concept, DISA
would likely issue a request for proposal in the first quarter of
fiscal year 2008, Bennett said.



About the Authors

Wyatt Kash served as chief editor of GCN (October 2004 to August 2010) and also of Defense Systems (January 2009 to August 2010). He currently serves as Content Director and Editor at Large of 1105 Media.


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