Now that the Joint Information Environment (JIE) has become one of the top priorities for the Department of Defense information technology officials (see Gaining Consensus on the JIE, June 2013), it is more important than ever to make sure that this new paradigm of extending voice, data and multimedia to the warfighter integrate well with existing enterprise services within the military. That’s according to David DeVries, the deputy chief information officer for information enterprise with the Defense Department, speaking on a recent edition of the AFCEA Answers radio program.
“The Joint Information Environment is about moving to more enterprise level things. But just because I start to consolidate, and I reduce the number of my data centers, and I may reduce the number of my databases, I’m gong to rely more and more on the technology technology innovation to help me to achieve the economies of scale and size,” he says. In one example, he explains that the challenge is to take existing databases used to support military mission requirements, adapt them to operate in a cloud computing environment, which in turn would allow the database to be used for other, related purposes.
For industry, the JIE represents not only a huge business development opportunity, but also a huge challenge, according to Diana Gowen, senior vice president and general manager, public sector, with CenturyLink in Washington, D.C. “I think the innovation really revolves around how we’re able to help [the Defense Department] deal with big data, and really do business analytics on it, and I would say that’s a very burgeoning field right now,” she says. Gowen adds that much of the innovation could come from what she characterized as “much smaller companies,” challenging much bigger firms like hers to figure out how to work with smaller innovators to perform that analysis.