• Panelists discuss the Defense Department's digital modernization at TechNet Indo-Pacific 2019 in Honolulu. Credit: Bob Goodwin Photography
     Panelists discuss the Defense Department's digital modernization at TechNet Indo-Pacific 2019 in Honolulu. Credit: Bob Goodwin Photography

Innovation, Security Are Foundations of Future Defense Networking

November 19, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
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Government and industry come from different directions to face similar challenges.


The future of the military is built around usable information, and the future of that information lies in innovation. Industry and government both understand these points and are moving to accommodate them, but their work still is far from complete.

Panelists exploring the Defense Department’s digital modernization gathered on the first day of TechNet Indo-Pacific 2019 in Honolulu November 19-21. They cited several hurdles to be overcome—some technical, others basic. “Data is good, but it’s useless until you can analyze it to make it useful,” said Adm. Dick Macke, USN (Ret.). And making data useful will be the key to prevailing in future confrontations.

“If we don’t carry the day in the information domain, the rest doesn’t matter. We will have lost the battle,” said Vice Adm. Ted Branch, USN (Ret.), Perspecta Inc. Adm. Branch noted that cybersecurity and resiliency capabilities must be built in from the get-go.

Juliana Vida, Splunk Inc., echoed the sentiments of the two retired admirals. “All of this is about leveraging data,” she declared. “You have to find a way to capture all that data and find a way for your organization to make use of it.”

And data is burgeoning. “Data is not going down. Data is growing exponentially,” said David Cerjan, Veritas Technologies. “There is all this data and intelligence out there, but at the critical time, what are we doing with it?”

Being able to move actionable data to the edge will require innovation, and panelists homed in on both its ways and its means. “What is the data that you actually need to have actionable intelligence on the edge?” asked Tony Moles, Tyto Athene. “How fresh must it be? That drives the entire network architecture.

“The only way to sift through that much data is to use AI, and that best is done in the cloud,” he added.

William Stritzinger of Juniper Networks summed it up. “Automation is driving innovation. It will offer toolsets to bring it all together."

 

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