Army IT: Keep it simple

Army IT: Keep it simple

The key to success in IT, Maj. Gen. Paul Funk contends, is simplicity.  Although the military increasingly relies on complex IT systems, they must be “simple enough that guys can understand them,” he said.  

IT systems must be reliable in the worst of situations, the assistant deputy chief of staff for Army operations and planning at the Pentagon said at a recent AFCEA event.  Showing pictures of two wounded soldiers, Funk told the audience that “these young men are alive today because some IT system allowed for the ability to call for a medevac to get them home.” Soldiers must have “uninterrupted, complete communications so that they can continue to fight,” he said.

These potentially life-saving and mission-critical IT systems must be simple, however, because they’re operated by soldiers on the ground “who don’t have the time to be experts,” he said.  “It’s pretty challenging out there right now to even understand where you’re at on the systems,” Funk told the defense contractors in the audience. "But as we apply simple solutions to these problem sets, I think you’ll find that these young men and women are pretty innovative as well and they can help you."

About the Author

Mark Pomerleau is a former editorial fellow with GCN and Defense Systems.

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