Army CIO Addresses the Enterprise

August 3, 2010
By Rita Boland

Increased situational awareness continued as the focus of importance here at LandWarNet. Lt. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sorenson, USA, the chief information officer/G-6 of the Army, gave a high-level view of the current path of the Army enterprise, emphasizing that everything done comes down the requirement for shared situational awareness. All other pieces must support the effort to provide the warfighters with the information they need. To support soldiers and joint troops, the Army is working to test, field and deploy systems faster. Army leadership is standardizing processes, technologies and guidelines so industry can provide exactly what the military requires. The general also stated that industry is increasingly focusing on applications. However, the Army is not only turning to private-sector partners to find the new applications it demands. Recently, the military branch ran a contest called "Apps for the Army" through which active duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian personnel could submit apps for Army use. According to Gen. Sorenson, approximately 140 people participated and 25 apps are now available for use. The Army can continue to use this format, Gen. Sorenson said. By establishing contests with tight deadlines the military branch can take advantage of the knowledge and creativity of its soldiers to quickly push out necessary capabilities. The general said that he plays with both the Android and iPhone to assess their potential uses. An issue of concern for the Army is the need to close the gap between military cellular and tactical communications and commercial capabilities. The private sector has far higher throughput and the military needs to reach levels closer to that of industry. Enemies take advantage of the commercial offerings because they have no formal acquisition and contracting processes to manage. "We have to close that gap," he explained. Gen. Sorenson emphasized the need for speed and standardization in the development and fielding of systems and to look at technology from an integration standpoint. He also outlined how the Army is creating efficiencies on the enterprise and leading the way toward a single e-mail network for the entire Defense Department.

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