DOD Opens Up
- By Bryant Jordan, Heather B. Hayes, Heather Harreld
- Apr 24, 2000
The other federal agency that faces seemingly infinite amounts of data
is the Defense Department. Much of it is classified and kept tightly tucked
away, but some of it is made public.
The mission of the Defense Technical Information Center is to acquire,
store and retrieve scientific and technical information for DOD. Although
the information may seem suitable mainly for a military audience, DTIC officials
consider their customer to be anyone who has Internet access, said Kurt
Molholm, DTIC administrator.
Such demand presents challenges, however, Molholm said. "One of the
things we quickly realized was the need to separate production from development
environments," he said. "While available technologies have been adequate
to meet the basic requirements of the majority of the sites, it has been
necessary to customize many applications and develop others to provide the
complex functions needed by many projects."
From an organizational standpoint, the biggest challenge DTIC has faced
is changing culture. DTIC traditionally has served only customer organizations
that registered for its services. Its networks, documents and other services
were limited to registered users. However, despite challenges that have
arisen from serving the general public, the agency's core content delivery
mission has kept the site focused on all user needs.