Defense

Air Force looks to data standards in 2019

Data numbers binary 

The Air Force is pushing forward with several key IT changes for the coming fiscal year.

Air Force Undersecretary Matthew Donovan said during an Air Force Association Mitchell Institute event Jan. 18 that the service's future success hinges on digital adeptness.

"We want every system in our Air Force to connect, to share and to learn," he said, so "we are implementing several reforms to realize this vision, including [moving] our disaggregated systems into the digital age."

Donovan said the service planned to develop structured and enforceable data standards that allow diverse systems to quickly communicate, communicate, and merge and extract data, and use industry to provide network connectivity and IT services as part of the IT-as-a-service initiative.

Donovan said the effort "is trying to get at is to get the people who do networking and those kind of communications jobs do that best and that really is industry." The Air Force launched a consolidation effort last year to leverage industry IT services.

The Air Force is also looking at a common digital backbone for the data and information flow, and plans to migrate 100 mission applications to cloud platforms this year.

"The things that I worry about are really advanced data analytics in the communications architectures. All these things that we talk about -- combat clouds, distributed and linked internetwork systems," along with protecting communications in an advanced cyber and electronic warfare environment.

The Air Force is also refining the cyber career fields and looking to contractors to manage systems so that so service members can focus on the cybersecurity mission.

About the Author

Lauren C. Williams is a staff writer at FCW covering defense and cybersecurity.

Prior to joining FCW, Williams was the tech reporter for ThinkProgress, where she covered everything from internet culture to national security issues. In past positions, Williams covered health care, politics and crime for various publications, including The Seattle Times.

Williams graduated with a master's in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a bachelor's in dietetics from the University of Delaware. She can be contacted at lwilliams@fcw.com, or follow her on Twitter @lalaurenista.

Click here for previous articles by Wiliams.


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