DOD aims for one IT framework

HONOLULU — Instead of having different and sometimes duplicating information systems that work together, the Defense Department should have one information technology architecture with modules for its agencies and services, the deputy commander of U.S. Pacific Command said today.

"We need one network, one system that everybody connects to in order to communicate, compute, collaborate and share," said Air Force Lt. Gen. Robert Dierker, deputy commander of the and U.S. Pacific Command (Pacom), at the AFCEA Asia-Pacific 2003 conference. "The system, of course, is way too big and way too complex to manage as a single entity. Therefore, we have to learn how to refresh the system solutions as modules within the context of a larger overarching system: the information infrastructure."

The Joint Information Capabilities Enhancement Environment (JICEE) is an effort led by Pacom CIO Randy Cieslakto to break down the stovepipes that have pervaded the department for decades. Pacom — a joint command with representatives from each of the four services and several DOD-related agencies — has proposed JICEE be used for the entire Defense Department.

DOD officials must recognize one information architecture and characterize it as a set of interrelated and independent capabilities, Dierker said. "These modules need to be reverse compatible, as well, so we don't leave behind needed data and applications," he said.

Having a single, integrated system is a more modern way of doing things, Dierker said.

"Focusing on interoperability over integration is the Industrial Age approach, stemming from building individual things," said Dierker.

JICEE will be used to determine duplications and capability gaps and trace the cost of system implementation.

"This is primarily an architectural effort intended to gain order and discipline among all of the inter-service and inter-agency information systems that we deal with here at Pacom," he said. "And our CIO is using JICEE to help guide information system transition in our new headquarters."

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