DOD not ready for total cloud migration, CIO says

Department making strides in efficiencies, acquisition and IT but still has a ways to go

Defense Department CIO Teri Takai on April 21 cautioned against jumping too quickly into cloud computing.

“If we move to a cloud environment with today’s technology, it would make the world worse, not better…from an enterprise perspective [and] from a security perspective. We’re still at stage one. How do we make sure we’re doing it in a way that’s secure? We have to remember that cloud services have to fit into overall services,” she said.

Takai also said a wholesale DOD move to cloud computing would require better organization and strategy, since the department's volumes of data spread throughout different places could prove difficult to find and access in a cloud environment.

Instead, she said the broader DOD could take advantage of some cloud technologies by taking a cue from the aggressive plans of the individual services to implement their own data center consolidation strategies.

In another area, Takai said she remains focused on meeting the needs of deployed forces.

“It’s easy to get caught up with the things we do at the Pentagon, in the defense community…we get caught up in the day-to-day,” she said, speaking at a briefing sponsored by Input. “Long-term planning is essential, but at the same time we have to be focused on the individuals on the ground and giving them what they need.”

Takai also highlighted the need to understand and defend against the growing cyber threat.

“The kinds of [cyber] threats and challenges we’re facing are growing exponentially…[and] it’s important to understand the level and scope of threats at DOD,” she said. “Cyberspace shouldn’t just be an ancillary part of how we defend the country; we need to integrate it as a domain.”

To do so, DOD is collaborating with Homeland Security Department, the Defense Information Systems Agency and the U.S. Cyber Command on different cyber-related issues, including the development and implementation of policies and framework, Takai said.

Takai’s office is also collaborating with other government agencies to take on evolving DOD efficiency requirements and IT acquisition reform. She said DOD is working with Federal CIO Vivek Kunda and the Office of Management and Budget to improve efficiencies in portfolio management, enterprise architecture and transparency.

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a former staff writer for FCW and Defense Systems.

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