DOD data policy focuses on sharing

New strategy requires more complex thinking about data use, accessibility

The Defense Department’s new information-sharing strategy will require officials to anticipate their data being used by nongovernmental organizations, coalition partners, other federal agencies, and state and local governments.
DOD leaders say the strategy represents a big change, and how well people adapt to it will largely determine the department’s future success. The new information-sharing strategy is necessary, they say, because DOD’s mission is evolving, and the military must often work with outside partners.

“The strategy promotes, encourages and incentivizes information sharing — which might sound like a softball — but it is a new way of doing business for us,” said Debra Filippi, DOD’s federal information-sharing executive.

“Our practices of the past need to change because we have been very sheltered,” Filippi said. “We are trying to inspire folks to make information accessible and visible and not worry about keeping it [away from] folks who don’t have an obvious need. It requires an uncomfortable shift from the past.”

John Grimes, DOD’s chief information officer, signed off on the new information-sharing strategy May 4.
Filippi’s office is developing an implementation plan for the new strategy. A draft is due in the fall. Grimes and Air Force Maj. Gen. Dale Meyerrose, associate director of national intelligence and CIO at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), also will sign off on Version 2 of DOD’s Net-Centric Enterprise services strategy, which complements the information-sharing document, in about a month.

“Information must be understandable and must be able to be used over and over again,” Grimes said in a recent speech.

In some respects, the information-sharing strategy announced May 4 endorses work DOD is already doing, Filippi said. “We already were doing some work in the information-sharing area, specifically with communities of interest and information assurance, but it was appropriate to knit these pieces together under the banner of a more strategic perspective and now line them up as service components of DOD.”

The forthcoming implementation guide will build on DOD’s work with COIs. For example, DOD is working with federal agencies such as the Coast Guard, the Transportation Department and ODNI to develop standards and best practices for sharing maritime information.

Filippi said it is important that DOD work with COIs and not compete with them. “We are looking at things from a strategic perspective and bringing into alignment how all these pieces make sense.”

Paul Duggal, BearingPoint’s managing director of public services solutions, said the best way to implement the new information-sharing strategy will be to show obvious benefits to all data users.

“Sponsorship is key in these initiatives,” Duggal said. “The organization has to see the benefits of providing and consuming the information under this architecture.”

David Chesebrough, president of the Association for Enterprise Integration, said DOD’s biggest challenge will be to establish trust and governance in the new data-sharing environment. “DOD is breaking new ground here,” he said. “They should start small and scale [up] the ones that work.”
Steps to sharingThe Defense Department’s information-sharing strategy asks the military services and DOD agencies to:
  • Promote, encourage and offer incentives for sharing information.
  • Expand the boundaries within which information sharing can occur.
  • Anticipate events and be ready to quickly accommodate new partners.
  • Ensure trust among organizations that share information.
— Jason Miller

The Fed 100

Read the profiles of all this year's winners.


  • Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump at a 2016 campaign event. Image: Shutterstock

    'Buy American' order puts procurement in the spotlight

    Some IT contractors are worried that the "buy American" executive order from President Trump could squeeze key innovators out of the market.

  • OMB chief Mick Mulvaney, shown here in as a member of Congress in 2013. (Photo credit Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

    White House taps old policies for new government makeover

    New guidance from OMB advises agencies to use shared services, GWACs and federal schedules for acquisition, and to leverage IT wherever possible in restructuring plans.

  • Shutterstock image (by Everett Historical): aerial of the Pentagon.

    What DOD's next CIO will have to deal with

    It could be months before the Defense Department has a new CIO, and he or she will face a host of organizational and operational challenges from Day One

  • USAF Gen. John Hyten

    General: Cyber Command needs new platform before NSA split

    U.S. Cyber Command should be elevated to a full combatant command as soon as possible, the head of Strategic Command told Congress, but it cannot be separated from the NSA until it has its own cyber platform.

  • Image from Shutterstock.

    DLA goes virtual

    The Defense Logistics Agency is in the midst of an ambitious campaign to eliminate its IT infrastructure and transition to using exclusively shared, hosted and virtual services.

  • Fed 100 logo

    The 2017 Federal 100

    The women and men who make up this year's Fed 100 are proof positive of what one person can make possibile in federal IT. Read on to learn more about each and every winner's accomplishments.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group