Defense

Pentagon hopes single service provider will deliver

Seal of the United States Department of Defense.

Pentagon officials hope an ongoing transition to a single service provider for department IT services will yield benefits in efficiency and scale.

“Standardizing IT infrastructures will enable end-to-end network and security posture and improve operational coordination across departments and geographies,” Greg Garcia, the Army’s Information Technology Agency (ITA) executive director, declared in a statement.  

The consolidation is an effort to cut out redundancies in how the Pentagon delivers IT services across its vast bureaucracy. After a months-long study of the IT costs of the Pentagon Reservation and National Capital Region, a memo from Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work made the single service provider (SSP) policy official in May. The consolidation brings together ITA and another service provider, the Enterprise Information Technology Service Division, under a joint office led by the Defense Information Systems Agency.

Dave Gwyn, vice president of federal at Nutanix, called the establishment of an SSP “fantastic news” for his virtualization firm’s business with the Pentagon. He added that it makes sense to “take those two service providers, make them into DISA-subordinate commands and have kind of the triad of the three of them figure out how they’re going to work together.’”

Lt. Gen. Mark Bowman, a top cyber official on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said this week that the move to a single service provider could save the Pentagon money by better organizing IT contracts, while Garcia touted the new SSP as a “single point of contact” for Pentagon customers’ common IT needs.

Garcia’s statement laid out a timeline for implementing the new SSP policy, with “initial operating capability” of the joint office set for next month, and “full operating capability” slated for October 2016.

About the Author

Sean Lyngaas is an FCW staff writer covering defense, cybersecurity and intelligence issues. Prior to joining FCW, he was a reporter and editor at Smart Grid Today, where he covered everything from cyber vulnerabilities in the U.S. electric grid to the national energy policies of Britain and Mexico. His reporting on a range of global issues has appeared in publications such as The Atlantic, The Economist, The Washington Diplomat and The Washington Post.

Lyngaas is an active member of the National Press Club, where he served as chairman of the Young Members Committee. He earned his M.A. in international affairs from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and his B.A. in public policy from Duke University.

Click here for previous articles by Lyngaas, or connect with him on Twitter: @snlyngaas.


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