Model to guide homeland investments

The national enterprise architecture for homeland security is far from being complete, but officials have committed to providing at least one usable piece within the next 90 days, said Lee Holcomb, director of infostructure for the Office of Homeland Security.

The architecture model will outline the connections between technologies currently in place and will be used to guide officials in what investments to make for the infrastructure of the proposed Homeland Security Department, Holcomb said Nov. 13 at a conference sponsored by Silicon Graphics Inc.

The model, based on models under development by task groups working under Holcomb, aim to define mission-specific needs in four areas: border and transportation security, intelligence and warning, weapons of mass destruction, and first responders.

Federal agencies will mostly use the program, Holcomb said, even though the entire homeland security enterprise architecture is intended to be a national architecture that includes state and local technologies and needs. However, the Office of Homeland Security is working closely with the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO), and this product will be the basis for future work, he said.

The architecture cannot move much faster simply because the structure that it must support will not be set until Congress finishes the bill to create the proposed department, he said.

Right now, the IT Investment Review Group oversees investment decisions for homeland security. The group, headed by Office of Homeland Security and the Office of Management and Budget, has cataloged technology in the agencies slated to move into the proposed department and ranked the different technology areas by color, Holcomb said.

Red signifies that the technology in that area is very diverse. Yellow signifies that the majority of agencies are using the same technology or approach. Green signifies that there is a common approach in place.

Several areas have been labeled green. In the yellow areas, the review group has asked some of the agencies to pause investing in a new technology until the homeland security bill is passed and the complete enterprise architecture can be set, Holcomb said.

Featured

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

  • Comment
    Pilot Class. The author and Barbie Flowers are first row third and second from right, respectively.

    How VA is disrupting tech delivery

    A former Digital Service specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs explains efforts to transition government from a legacy "project" approach to a more user-centered "product" method.

  • Cloud
    cloud migration

    DHS cloud push comes with complications

    A pressing data center closure schedule and an ensuing scramble to move applications means that some Homeland Security components might need more than one hop to get to the cloud.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.