DOD CIO presses on to uncertain future

Defense Department CIO Teri Takai is soldiering on, working on strategies for DOD's technology future, even though her office was slated for closure last year and its fate is still unsettled..

Takai told an audience May 24, at the AFCEA C4I conference in Fairfax, Va., that so far nothing has changed at her office.

ASD (NII) was ordered closed by Defense Secretary Robert Gates as part of broader DOD efficiency initiatives launched in August 2010. Since then, Takai has taken over as the new DOD CIO – which is housed under ASD (NII) – and more efficiency efforts continue to roll out.

“There’s been a lot of confusion in-house as well as externally,” Takai said about the uncertainties in the current organizational structure. “We’re still working out the details of how we will operate…and how we will operate in relation to [the Defense Information Systems Agency].”

Under Gates’ guidelines, some responsibilities currently within ASD (NII) could be moved to DISA. The guidelines also called for the closure of Joint Forces Command, and Takai said some of that agency’s responsibilities would be transferred to her office.

Takai said she is focusing on key relationships with other defense organizations, including U.S. Cyber Command and U.S. Strategic Command.

Another major point of focus is DOD implementation of cloud strategies, which Takai is looking to get under way. But she stressed the need to move forward with plenty of caution and consideration, and with a holistic perspective.

“We don’t want an ad-hoc evolution of cloud computing,” Takai said. “We need an overarching DOD strategy.”

That strategy is under construction, she noted.

Takai also called for a modular, services-based command and control architecture that allows for greater agility and flexibility, and as in previous public appearances, emphasized the bottom-line goal of enabling the troops to access the network anytime, anywhere and with any device.

“We have to make sure that everything we do has the warfighter-focused part,” she said.

About the Author

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

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