Navy narrows legacy systems

The Navy has slashed the number of applications it uses by more than 67 percent as part of its effort to create an enterprisewide network for its shore-based sites.

The overwhelming number of applications -- the Navy tabulated 96,025 in February -- has been one of the most significant hurdles for the Navy's rollout of its Navy Marine Corps Intranet, the service's $6.9 billion initiative to create a single network across more then 400,000 seats.

The service has cut the number of applications by nearly 65,000 as of July 24, said Allie Lawaetz, NMCI's legacy applications manager, to 31,287. The Navy expects to have that number down to about 20,000 by year's end, Lawaetz said.

As part of the winnowing of legacy applications, Navy officials have discovered a staggering number of programs that were slated to be moved to the new EDS-owned-and-operated NMCI network, but which had no identifiable users.

"We were stunned by the numbers," Lawaetz said in July 30 briefing with reporters. The Navy has discovered that as much as 20 percent of the applications that were proposed to be moved onto NMCI had no users whatsoever.

The Navy and NMCI lead vendor EDS have been working to streamline the process for dealing with legacy applications.

Previously, the process could be stymied by a single legacy application, Lawaetz said. The Navy and EDS would focus on fixing a specific legacy application, delaying the further rollout of seats, she said.

The new process instead puts applications aside temporarily, so that a small number of programs don't hold up the entire NMCI initiative. Those applications are temporarily "quarantined" on the old network, formerly referred to as kiosks, until those applications can be fixed, she said.

The Navy and EDS also have established user profiles that lay out what applications are needed for certain jobs. By standardizing a set of applications for particular users, the profiles have enabled EDS to roll out seats more rapidly, she said.


"Marines can't wait for infrastructure revamp" [Federal Computer Week, July 22, 2002]

"NMCI legacy review streamlined" [, May 16, 2002]

"Navy stovepipes prove resilient" [Federal Computer Week, March 25, 2002]

"NMCI navigates choppy seas" [Federal Computer Week, Nov. 12, 2001]

"NMCI helps pare legacy systems" [Federal Computer Week, Sept. 3, 2001]

About the Author

Christopher J. Dorobek is the co-anchor of Federal News Radio’s afternoon drive program, The Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, and the founder, publisher and editor of the, a leading blog for the Federal IT community.

Dorobek joined Federal News Radio in 2008 with 16 years of experience covering government issues with an emphasis on government information technology. Prior to joining Federal News Radio, Dorobek was editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week, the leading news magazine for government IT decision-makers and the flagship of the 1105 Government Information Group portfolio of publications. As editor-in-chief, Dorobek served as a member of the senior leadership team at 1105 Government Information Group, providing daily editorial direction and management for FCW magazine,, Government Health IT and its other editorial products.

Dorobek joined FCW in 2001 as a senior reporter and assumed increasing responsibilities, becoming managing editor and executive editor before being named editor-in-chief in 2006. Prior to joining FCW, Dorobek was a technology reporter at, one of the first online community centers for current and former government employees. He also spent five years at Government Computer News, another leading industry publication, covering a variety of federal IT-related issues.

Dorobek is a frequent speaker on issues involving the government IT industry, and has appeared as a frequent contributor to NewsChannel 8’s Federal News Today program. He began his career as a reporter at the Foster’s Daily Democrat, a daily newspaper in Dover, N.H. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California. He lives in Washington, DC.


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