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Charting the future of battlespace awareness, C2

Jan. 24, 2014 - 04:32PM   |  
By GREG WENZEL   |   Comments
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Greg Wenzel is senior vice president of Booz Allen Hamilton's Strategic Innovation Group.

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Senior Department of Defense leaders from USD(I), AT&L, DISA, and NRO agree there is a new future for C2 and Battlespace Awareness, and that this future depends on creating a dialogue that revolves around the enterprise mindset to jointly advance mission goals and requirements. Recently, Booz Allen Hamilton hosted The Association for Enterprise Information (AFEI) Industry Day to help kindle this dialogue – bringing together leaders of Joint Command and Control (JC2) and the Defense Intelligence Information Enterprise (DI2E); I moderated a morning panel with these leaders.

In this period of permanent fiscal uncertainty, speakers addressed the need to break out of traditional stovepipes to solve the toughest challenges with new levels of efficiency. We talked a great deal about, and asked ourselves, what is enterprise thinking? Making systems compatible, interoperable, and reusable – that is, conceiving and building systems with a collective view, not in separate silos. Specifically, the conversation focused on:

■ The need for new policy and acquisition efforts to enable an agile, modular approach.

■ The need for a set of “blueprints” for reuse and interoperability.

■ The DI2E framework and JC2 Roadmap and how these efforts enable the intersection between IT infrastructure models being built to maintain convergence and commonality to adopt standards and services to drive greater efficiency, reuse, and interoperability.

During Industry Day, speakers universally referenced that achieving greater mission effectiveness and efficiency under compressed timelines and reduced budgets demands more common standards, a focus on common mission functionality, and more synchronization and collaboration. In order to move to a more “modular,” agile enterprise IT systems should be examined, as if they were separated in to individual pieces and parts, for similarities and interoperability rather than build full, large complex systems each time. Or more simply, moving from less large acquisitions to many smaller acquisitions. Moving to a modular approach brings down sustainment costs, and the DoD has set a goal to bring down sustainment and operational costs by 10 percent by 2017.

Continuing conversations like these with key players in industry and government is critical to ensuring we can continue todays increasing missions on a significantly reduced budget by developing the joint community that can engineer for interoperability, efficiency and increased missions success.

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