Pentagon identifying net-centric core

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"Call to service"

As the Defense Department continues to transform its warfighting and business systems into a network-centric environment, the DOD chief information officer's office has identified nine "core enterprise services" that will form the foundation of that vision.

In a network-centric environment, data would be made available as quickly as possible to those who need it across the organization or on the battlefield.

Priscilla Guthrie, DOD's deputy CIO, said the department is in the process of articulating exactly what the core enterprise services are and how they will be supported by different systems, or communities of interest. She added that DOD's CIO office soon will release a strategy paper on the subject, but declined to give a timetable for that document.

Guthrie participated in a roundtable discussion today sponsored by the Industry Advisory Council. Afterward she told Federal Computer Week that she would not name all nine of the services that DOD already has identified as being critical to supporting both the business and warfighting sides of the enterprise. She did, however, give a few examples, including collaboration, messaging, security, discovery and mediation.

The vision that Guthrie described appears to be related to the Net-Centric Enterprise Services pilot project being run by the Defense Information Systems Agency. The project would enable the military and intelligence communities to access information relevant to their missions regardless of what agency operates the network where the data resides.

DISA would create an infrastructure that will enable users to quickly take advantage of DOD and intelligence community networks containing critical information. Such a program would eliminate the system-by-system approach that exists today, said Rob Walker, DISA's program manager for the pilot project, in an October 2002 interview.

"It's about the data...and how do we get all of those command and control and [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] systems out of the stovepipes and into a network where it's available to the people who need it," Walker said.

DOD officials want to move from the current methodology for disseminating data that includes tasking it out, processing it and then deciding how to act. The new method—task, post, process, use—will result in faster decision-making and increased collaboration, he said.

In addition to the five core enterprise services that Guthrie named, the DISA pilot also includes:

* Enterprise systems management.

* User assistance.

* Storage of massive amounts of information.

* An infrastructure to host and organize the data.

DISA was working with DOD's CIO office to demonstrate the capabilities in conjunction with the intelligence community, Walker said. "We're in the process of programming for follow-on funds for integration in the future."

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