cattle drive (William Edge/

Navy riding herd on excess, complex IT systems

The Navy wants to round up its old and weak IT systems, networks and applications and put them out to pasture, according to a recent memo describing a new modernization plan.

Operation Cattle Drive aims to "sunset or rationalize unneeded, obsolete, unproductive, insecure and un-auditable IT systems and applications," by eliminating funds and resources, decertifying and removing identified assets from the Navy's networks, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Gregory J. Slavonic wrote.

These excessive and overly complex systems affect the department’s “ability to transform operations and remain agile in responding to and gaining a competitive edge over our adversaries," Slavonic wrote in the Dec. 2 memo's opening line.

IT portfolios for financial management and logistics would be the first up for the overhaul, according to the memo, and portfolio managers and IT capability owners would have to draw up plans that include "clear system and application sunset dates with no extension."

The Navy also updated its cloud policy to push for increased adoption and use of cloud services, according to a Dec. 7 memo.

“All new software and software development shall leverage the inherent characteristics of cloud computing services, shall maximize use of enterprise cloud services, and shall support continuous integration/continuous delivery to the maximum extent possible that both mission requirements and technical capabilities allow," the memo states.

The policy extends Navy and Marine Corps contracts and "includes all networks and environments" such as enterprise, legacy, ashore, afloat, tactical, mobile, lab and classroom environments. The scope also includes all funding types -- even non-appropriated funds -- with no room for exclusions or exemptions.

This article was first posted to FCW, a sibling site to GCN.

About the Author

Lauren C. Williams is senior editor for FCW and Defense Systems, covering defense and cybersecurity.

Prior to joining FCW, Williams was the tech reporter for ThinkProgress, where she covered everything from internet culture to national security issues. In past positions, Williams covered health care, politics and crime for various publications, including The Seattle Times.

Williams graduated with a master's in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a bachelor's in dietetics from the University of Delaware. She can be contacted at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @lalaurenista.

Click here for previous articles by Wiliams.


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