The Pentagon's creation of joint intelligence organizations within the combatant commands has saved DoD 25 percent in information technology costs over the past five years, according to a senior U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) official.
The move by then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in 2006 to establish joint intelligence operations centers put DIA in charge of combatant command IT infrastructure.
"When we look at what was in the budget to support them and us and what's in the budget now and what we're supporting, it's in the 25 percent reduction point for those core IT services," Grant Schneider, chief information officer at DIA, said after an Oct. 25 speech at a conference in Washington.
Similar future scaling across the IT enterprise could yield "those types of savings," he said.
Last week, James Clapper, the U.S. director of national intelligence, told an audience at a conference in San Antonio that the White House is calling for billions of dollars of cuts "in the double digit range" across the intelligence community.
Clapper said he hopes that "one half of the needed savings" can be achieved through information technology "efficiencies." He said the community's goal would be to establish a "common IT architecture but allowing for unique mission or agency specific capabilities."
He also said cloud computing could yield savings.
DIA is looking to establish "a common development kit" so that "widgets" used by analysts are interoperable across the intelligence community, Schneider said during the event in Washington.
Schneider pointed to Apple's requirements for developers wanting to build applications for the company's devices. DIA's widget framework has to be rigid.
In addition, Schneider said the ability to share information and make sure that data is secure would improve performance.
"If we can do that, that by default for my customer set is going to add agility for them because they need the agility to get to that new data set to be able to share it with the right person quickly," he said.