Letter: CMOs should take close look at EA

Regarding "What to do with the CMO" (FCW, Sept. 22), there is a reason why the chief information officers created by the Clinger-Cohen Act have been unable to add value at the Defense Department. It's because they have been required — by the self-same Clinger-Cohen Act — to pursue the creation of an overarching enterprise architecture as the key to solving DOD's business management problems.


We now have more than 10 years of history showing that although the enterprise architecture approach (an approach the Government Accountability Office has been pushing for many years) has certainly kept the defense IT community busy producing grand plans and weighty reports, it has done nothing to improve the effectiveness or efficiency of defense business operations. With results like that, no wonder senior DOD leaders have ignored their CIOs.


If the new  chief management officer and deputy CMO at DOD want to make a difference, one of the things they might want to examine is whether the  enterprise architecture approach has ever made any sense at DOD. That's not what GAO and David Walker had in mind, of course, when they called for the creation of CMO positions at DOD, but any CMO and deputy CMO worth their salt ought to be prepared to step back and do that, if they really are going to be independent and objective as they undertake their jobs.


Christopher Hanks


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