Takai Stresses Need for Identity Management, Improved Efficiency
The U.S. Defense Department must move to a single identity management system, the department's chief information officer said today at the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Mission Partner Conference. Teri Takai stated that enterprise email is a driver of that system but acknowledged that the bigger concern is the identity management rather than whether all the military services embrace the email migration. Despite arguments among members of a military chief information officer panel earlier in the day, Takai said she is glad the discussion came up because people need to understand that finding the right solution for identity management is difficult. The Army is scheduled to complete migration to enterprise email by March 2013 and Air Force migration will begin soon after. Neither the Navy nor the Marine Corps has plans to migrate. Takai has a similar attitude to mobile technology pilots currently underway in the services as she does to email migration. Instead of wanting to consolidate the 50 programs, she wants to encourage any development of capabilities. Her only concern is ensuring that the pilots don't result in the creation of separate infrastructures, resulting in the same interoperability issues common in current military communications technologies. Regardless of technologies tested, DISA has the responsibility to certify them for use on the network. The agency also is running its own mobile pilots. DISA additionally is exploring a single app store for the military where members of any service could come to find applications they need for their missions. Takai also addressed data center consolidation, saying that by the end of fiscal year 2012 the department will eliminate more than 100 data centers. The military services have individual budget goals for reducing their numbers. Takai said there is also an effort to look across the services to increase efficiencies through the use of cloud technologies and the Joint Information Environment, but much work remains before any firm plans are put in place. Despite a reduction in the number of centers, Takai does not anticipate a loss in personnel. Rather, she says their skills are needed in other places. She emphasized that centralization only stifles innovation when it is ubiquitous. "We're not even close to centralizing everything," she stated. The department is aiming for an infrastructure diverse enough for security, Takai added.