Air Force inks enterprise IT plan

Eight months after releasing a draft version of the Air Force's Enterprise Information Technology Services Strategy, service officials announced today they recently signed it into action.

John Gilligan, the Air Force's chief information officer, and Lt. Gen. William "Tom" Hobbins, the service's deputy chief of staff for warfighting integration, said the new strategy will improve airmen's abilities to collaborate in planning and decision-making, to share information and situational awareness, and to synchronize actions on the battlefield. The strategy identifies nine enterprise services: discovery, mediation, storage, application hosting, information assurance/security, user assistance, enterprise services management, collaboration and messaging, according to the Air Force statement.

Air Force officials now will work on plans to implement the nine services. They will address the technologies needed and portfolio management for them so that airmen can access information anywhere using desktop and notebook computers, wireless telephones, embedded processors and advanced machine-to-machine operations, according to the statement.

Air Force personnel currently experience difficulty transferring and receiving e-mail when they are deployed overseas or sent to a new base in the United States, for example. The new strategy supports the service's One Network, One Air Force initiative and transformation to network-centricity and also complements the Defense Department’s Net-Centric Enterprise Services program, the statement reads.

Air Force officials planned to implement the strategy last October. With the release, service officials now could pursue a procurement to manage storage-area networks and data warehouses.

Air Force officials emphasized enterprise IT during the past two years. They consolidated computer servers and networks and standardized desktop computers to achieve more consistent hardware configurations across the service with an estimated annual savings of $200 million, according to the statement.

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