NMCI at heart of transformation

The Navy Marine Corps Intranet is the foundation for the Navy's transformation work in e-government and knowledge management, according to the service's deputy chief information officer.

David Wennergren, Navy deputy CIO for e-business and security, said the $6.9 billion initiative being spearheaded by the Navy and Electronic Data Systems Corp. eventually will give more than 400,000 users a technological experience they've never had before.

"I think we'll look back on the NMCI deployment as the moment of transformation for us," Wennergren said during his Dec. 19 keynote speech at the E-Gov Information Assurance conference in Washington, D.C.

An example of NMCI's promise came after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The Navy lost 70 percent of its Pentagon office space in the attack, but after officials located some available office space the next day, EDS did the rest, Wennergren said.

Within a week, the company and its partners had transformed an empty building with no wiring into a fully functional office for 700 people. "That's a great testimony to the power this contract is going to have for us," he said.

Wennergren said the three keys to the Navy's technological transformation are:

* Knowledge management -- enabling battlefield groups to collaborate in real time.

* E-business/e-government -- taking current technology and moving ahead quickly with initiatives, making necessary fixes along the way, as opposed to having longer projects that are outdated before completion.

* Enterprise portal -- a single place for Navy personnel to conduct self-service transactions using Web-based applications.

With NMCI as the foundation supporting those three pillars, the final step is ensuring security throughout the processes, he said.

"We'll only be successful if we take security to heart," which also means organizational and cultural changes, Wennergren said. "You can't let security be the excuse not to do transformational work."

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