Welcome!

API Journal Authors: Harry Trott, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, Yeshim Deniz

Blog Feed Post

INSA Publishes White Paper on Intelligence Community Information Technology Enterprise

By

Insa_clearThe Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) has released a white paper documenting the vision and approach for enhancing enterprise information technology in support of intelligence and national security missions. This paper, titled  ”Doing in Common What Is Commonly Done” provides insights based on interviews of government leaders including CIOs, CTOs and other agency leadership.

The goal of the IC ITE approach is to move to an IT posture that is more integrated and service based (with 10 common service offerings across the IC for primary IT functions). IC level portfolio management will also be done enabling IT decisions to be made by more informed IT leaders across the enterprise. And enhancements will be made to the IC enterprise IT acquisition process, including more centralized and synchronized IT acquisition and more progressive models for procurement (like SOA and Agile instead of typical procurement).

From the paper:

 

The IC ITE focuses on greater integration, information security, and information sharing while seeking substantial cost reductions through shared infrastructure and service models. The IC recognizes that each agency has particular strengths or core competencies that can be better leveraged by designating IC elements to act as Service Providers for specific capabilities for the entire Community. The DNI designates the IC Service Providers who are responsible for determining investment requirements and using their respective acquisition and contract authorities to execute their IC ITE responsibilities. Currently identified common services and their respective providers include: the Desktop Environment, DIA and NGA; IC Cloud Services, NSA and CIA; Applications Mall, NSA; and Applications Stores, all agencies.

The IC ITE will be delivered in increments with Increment 1 (Initial Operating Capability, or – IOC) in FY13 and achievement of Full Operating Capability (FOC) planned in FY18. Increments for the IC ITE will include all activities required to plan for and implement IC ITE services, including scaling services across the IC enterprise, transitioning relevant legacy data and applications, and retiring legacy capabilities as appropriate. The initial IC ITE services focus on delivery of a common IC desktop, common back office tools, broader and standardized access to analytic tools and applications, and data-centric computing using complementary government-developed and commercial cloud architectures. Development of Increment 1 began in 2012 and ultimately intends to deliver enterprise capabilities for the IC Cloud Environment, the IC Desktop Environment, and the IC Applications Mall services. Future increments propose to deliver additional ITE services and capabilities based on mission needs, and will further define/refine governance, cost recovery business models, and additional efficiency opportunities. In five years, the IC expects all agencies to be leveraging this shared services platform with each providing or paying for enterprise services. This baseline platform and new Community IT ecosystem is expected to enable and encourage innovation to occur and to spread rapidly.

For industry, especially the IT vendors, one of the most important paragraphs follows:

The IC will lean heavily on industry to conduct R&D on enterprise solutions – COTs technology will likely predominate. Acquisition will be deliberate to provide some stability in enabling organized change. Outsourcing may be considered as long as vendors can meet service needs on a sustainable basis without sacrificing mission agility. Vendors depending on revenue streams from cost-prohibitive long-term license fees will likely find themselves disadvantaged as the IC ITE moves forward. Integrators who specialize in specific agencies may also be disadvantaged when the IC is seeking enterprise-wide solutions.

I encourage all technologists from all enterprises, even totally commercial enterprises, to review this INSA document for lessons learned for your particular organization. And for those who serve the national security community I encourage you to read closely both so you can see what is coming next and so you can provide input where you think it is necessary.

I have heard from IC IT leaders directly on this activity, and they genuinely want continued feedback. I’m working up thoughts for IC leaders myself on this. My inputs so far will probably be minor but my view is I must show friends in government that I care so I will provide input. I encourage you to do that as well.

One piece of input I’ll publicly state just for continued dialog: I found this summary of IC ITE views and vision to be overly simplistic in how “industry” is thought of. I think that may be because most IC CIOs and CTOs come from life-long careers in government. Or maybe it is because the document is just a summary and it doesn’t reflect the real nuanced views of IC IT leadership. But to try to summarize all that is not government under the term “industry” just falls flat with me. In the views of many who were interviewed for this summary, there is the government and there are vendors and it is that black and white. In the real nuanced world, there are many segments to American industry and to assume they are all the same weakens your ability to work with and influence and get the best from these many segments.

When it comes to IT, a useful segmentation of “industry” for national security decision makers might be: Systems Integrators, Service Companies/Consultancies and IT Vendors. Considering “industry” this way instead of as just one big blob can help inform and produce a more impactful strategy.

Here is how this sort of segmentation of IT related firms might look:

  • Systems Integrators (SIs): Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, SAIC, Raytheon, CSC, Harris, GD
  • Services Companies and Consultancies: the SIs do some of this but many firms specialize here, including CACI, BAH, ManTech, Camber, the FFRDC (Mitre, Aerospace) and many others
  • IT vendors: Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, Google, Amazon, Cisco, SAP, HP, EMC, RedHat, Cloudera, Thetus, MarkLogic, Cleversafe, Terracotta, Fixmo, Recorded Future, Sitscape, Triumfant, Invincea, WayIn, etc etc.

I’d be the first to admit this segmentation of the IT industry is not perfect (some companies do not fit this model), but it has a bit more fidelity than lumping all industry into one term, and if it were used in the IC ITE it would allow a more meaningful expression of intent. For example, the INSA articulation of the IC ITE makes it seem that the IC views all of industry as traditionally embedding themselves in an IC element for years to provide all holistic IT support. Clearly this is not talking about all of industry, it must refer to the systems integrators. In other parts it talks of industry needing to change software license models. This makes more sense if it is aimed at the IT vendors segment, not services firms and usually not systems integrators.  And portions which talk about the need for new educational and training for commercial workforces are probably focused on the Service companies. Lumping all kinds of industry serving IC IT needs into one term is sub optimal for many reasons which I will leave to readers to consider.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley writes on enterprise IT. He is a founder and partner at Cognitio Corp and publsher of CTOvision.com

@ThingsExpo Stories
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
"ReadyTalk is an audio and web video conferencing provider. We've really come to embrace WebRTC as the platform for our future of technology," explained Dan Cunningham, CTO of ReadyTalk, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at WebRTC Summit at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and G...
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, will discuss how AI can simplify cloud operations. He will cover the following topics: why clou...
As ridesharing competitors and enhanced services increase, notable changes are occurring in the transportation model. Despite the cost-effective means and flexibility of ridesharing, both drivers and users will need to be aware of the connected environment and how it will impact the ridesharing experience. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Timothy Evavold, Executive Director Automotive at Covisint, discussed key challenges and solutions to powering a ride sharing and/or multimodal model in the age ...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
We are always online. We access our data, our finances, work, and various services on the Internet. But we live in a congested world of information in which the roads were built two decades ago. The quest for better, faster Internet routing has been around for a decade, but nobody solved this problem. We’ve seen band-aid approaches like CDNs that attack a niche's slice of static content part of the Internet, but that’s it. It does not address the dynamic services-based Internet of today. It does...
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, drew together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established compa...
Connected devices and the industrial internet are growing exponentially every year with Cisco expecting 50 billion devices to be in operation by 2020. In this period of growth, location-based insights are becoming invaluable to many businesses as they adopt new connected technologies. Knowing when and where these devices connect from is critical for a number of scenarios in supply chain management, disaster management, emergency response, M2M, location marketing and more. In his session at @Th...
"Dice has been around for the last 20 years. We have been helping tech professionals find new jobs and career opportunities," explained Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.