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Intelligence Looks to the Hybrid Cloud

It may be the key to enabling information processing and sharing.

Intelligence experts at the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence & National Security Summit on Wednesday, September 4, offered that the hybrid cloud may be the digital holy grail for future intelligence operations. Disciplines ranging from international intelligence sharing to artificial intelligence, which are being counted on for effective operations, might not attain their true potential without it.

“Without a hybrid cloud environment, you cannot have AI [artificial intelligence], machine learning and human machine teaming at the speed and relevance that is required,” said Lt. Gen. Veralinn “Dash” Jamieson, USAF, deputy chief of staff, ISR and Cyber Effects Operations. “You have to have an integrated architecture with a hybrid cloud to run this.”

A hybrid cloud may be the key to opening broader intelligence sharing among partner nations. Vital information may be withheld to protect collection sources, even though the data is not necessarily classified. “If you have cloud technology that can strip out [intelligence] origination information quickly, we can share more information with our partners,” said Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, USA, deputy chief of staff, Army G-2.

The reason a hybrid cloud is desirable is that it avoids the pitfall of the intelligence community putting all of its digital eggs in a single basket. Having a mix of government and industry storage provides that flexibility, the experts noted.

And, it will help implement AI advances in conjunction with human operations. “Our principal activities are focused on getting machines to sort through massive amounts of data. We want to harvest human activities into machine learning,” noted Rear Adm. Steve Parode, USN, director, Warfare Integration Directorate.