Cloud

Why DISA is leery of legacy

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The Defense Department is putting legacy applications on the back burner as it pushes toward an interconnected cloud environment.

John Hale, the Defense Infrastructure System Agency's cloud chief, said during FCW's cloud summit April 9 that DOD is sifting through its legacy applications, many of which are entangled with one another, and deciding what to do with them long term.

Hale said DISA and the Pentagon surveyed all of DOD’s Fourth Estate, or administrative, agencies, evaluating each application, their construct and interfaces to come up with a set of tools and recommendations of how to deal with them in the future.

The result: "not every application is a right fit for the cloud," he said, adding that there were cases where "moving one application to the cloud is really a detriment if you don't move everything."

Instead DOD is taking those legacy applications that are central to business operations and holding off cloud migration for now, but marking them for possible modernization come budget time.

"Do we allocate funds to modernize that application or move it to a cloud-friendly environment? Those are the decisions being made now that ultimately affect how IT goes in the department for the next 10 years," he said.

Hale also touched on workforce concerns that cloud migration and embracing as-a-service models will eliminate jobs, saying the cultural shift must go from commodity-focused to mission-focused and that workers will be trained and empowered in that process. But "over time the natural attrition of the workforce will take care of bringing the numbers down to where we want them."

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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