DOD issues `shared vision' for IT

Defense Department chief information officer Emmett Paige Jr. last week issued the Information Technology Management Strategic Plan which lays out the overarching vision of how DOD will manage and leverage technology in the years ahead.

The ITM Strategic Plan addresses many requirements of the Clinger-Cohen Act which directs agencies to evaluate how IT systems

meet agency goals by describing how DOD plans to use IT to improve its "day-to-day mission processes."By establishing a "DOD shared vision" for IT with a number of central goals the document spells out many of the responsibilities of the DOD CIO and lays the groundwork for individual DOD components and agencies to develop their own ITM plans that address specific programs and initiatives.

The plan from the outset ties DOD's IT strategy to its broader joint warfighting strategic plan titled "Joint Vision 2010 - America's Military: Preparing for Tomorrow."

Joint Vision 2010 "recognizes information superiority as the foundation for joint warfighting doctrine and concepts " according to the ITM plan. "To meet this vast responsibility the department must have a strategic plan that addresses the management and use of information technology and capabilities."

Compliance by 2002

Specific objectives under the listed goals cover everything from bringing major information systems into compliance with DOD standards by 2002 to developing an automated capability to help DOD IT users search for information across the department's information management resources.

Because DOD involves so many different components and agencies - some of which have their own CIO - the strategic plan emphasizes the roles these parties must play.

"To make it successful we'll need the cooperation of the services as we develop a list of priority objectives " said Cynthia Rand principal director of information management in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command Control Communications and Intelligence.

Paul Kaminski undersecretary of Defense for acquisition and technology said the ITM plan with its focus on architecture and standards would contribute to the department's efforts to shorten its weapons acquisition cycles because "so many of our systems are becoming more information-based and information-dependent.

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