The Weather at DoDIIS 2016: Partly Cloudy with a Chance for Digitization

This edition of Mazz-Int is an abbreviated version of my seven page summary of the DoDIIS 2016 Conference.  If you would like the full summary send me an email at mazzafro@gmail.com with “Request DoDIIS 2016 Summary” in the subject line.

DoDIIS Worldwide Conference 2016 convened in Atlanta, Georgia from 31July to 03 August at the Georgia World Congress Center.  The theme for DoDIIS 2016 was “Mission Integration at the Speed of Operations.” The conference drew 200 exhibitors (230 in 2015) and 2300 attendees (1600 in 2015).  Less than 400 participants were government “blue badgers” of which only 90 where from DIA.  The entire agenda for DoDIIS 2016 was UNCLASSIFIED.

DNI James Clapper, DIA Director Lt Gen Stewart and USDI Marcel Lettre were all restrained in their comments and collectively seemed to be intent on making “no news” at DoDIIS. In a phrase they were “aggressively politically correct.” They made no projections regarding even near term events involving the Intelligence Community.

The three Combatant Commander, Gen McDew (TransCom), Admiral Harris (PACOM), and Admiral Haney (StratCom) all spoke about the importance of information to executing their mission responsibilities, but only Admiral Harris spoke directly to the utility of DoDIIS.  Admiral Harris was speaking for all his fellow Combatant Command Commanders (CoComs) when he said intelligence needs to be pared down to what I need to know about a subject/issue, in a time frame that allows for action to be taken, in a format that is easy to consume, and is shareable.

The IC CIO Panel, which I moderated, was upbeat both about where IT is in the IC and where it is heading.  Particularly in the breakout sessions, however, I detected a subtle sense of moderating expectations for ICITE, where no metrics, schedule, or cost issues were discussed.

FIVE IMPORTANT QUOTES FROM DODIIS 2016

  1. “We are in age of expeditionary intelligence! Places not bases.” Sean Roche CIA Associate Deputy Director for Digital Innovation
  2. “Stop forging a new path with an old map.” Janice Glover-Jones DIA CIO
  3. “The IT Enterprise is under near continual attack.” Colonel Bruce Lyman CIO Air Force ISR
  4. “The world still calls 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.” US Transportation Command Commander Air Force General Darren McDew
  5. “DoDIIS is the backbone for Combatant Command decision making.” US Pacific Command Commander Admiral Harry Harris

 

INSIGHTS ON ICITE

  1. NSA will be primarily a user of its own GOV Cloud for mission, which it is funding predominantly without Intelligence Community (IC) augmentation. This is because most NSA’s mission workloads are not supported by Commercial Cloud Services C2S and run 24 x 7 so there is no cost advantage associated with elasticity.
  2. DTE II is several months behind schedule due to testing; rollout schedule for FY 17 not firm yet but DIA and NGA will be refreshed with DTE II in FY 17
  3. Migration plans to ICITE (like technical roadmaps) are the responsibilities of the individual service providers and their contractors. There is no consolidated ICITE migration plan
  4. IC CIO’s all agree that there is no realistic alternative to ICITE

IC CIO Panel

  1. Commercial Cloud Services (C2S) will reach 100% capacity in 2017; 1600 developers are now using C2S
  2. ICITE has moved out of being in the acquisition phase and is now focused on driving adoption by showing mission value.  The IC is too far into the ICITE journey to turn back
  3. IT as a Service/Performance based contracting is not something the IC is comfortable with because the Statement of Work (SOW) must convey in detail what the government is expecting in terms of performance/outcomes and how to value that performance.
  4. Cultural challenges to ICITE adoption and digital transformation
    1. Developing trust in other agencies through reciprocity to compensate for the loss of control
    2. Comfort with the status quo
    3. Decoupling control and complexity from effectiveness
    4. Understanding risk and opportunity costs

Digital Transformation appears to be the new IT focus area of the DoDIIS Community if not the entire IC’s, but if I heard a definition or description I don’t remember it.  I know there wasn’t any discussion at DoDIIS 2016 about a strategy or a plan for how to accomplish a digital transformation within the IC.  At this point it is a vision statement to guide planning and decisions

Based on it being declared IOC in advance of a new administration and a new DNI, ICITE is at an inflection point where it has to show value or it will suffer the fate of IC-MAP, Trailblazer, and GeoScout.  Showing how C2S, GovCloud, DTE, and the Apps Mall can work together to answer IC mission questions quickly and effectively is what will bring users to ICITE as was the case with JDISS, JWICS, and Intelink.  The DIA leadership and the IC CIO’s at DoDIIS 2016 all understand this.

Based on the comments of all three Combatant Commanders who spoke at DoDIIS, shareable intelligence for allied and coalition warfighting partners is an underserved area.  Write for release, automated foreign disclosure processes and cross domain security solutions to address the CoCom’s demand for shareable intelligence needs to be an agenda item for DoDIIS 2017.

That’s what I think; what do you think?

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