DISA takes lead role in DOD cloud strategy

DOD's efforts to streamline and economize includes a move from duplicative silos to a more agile approach.

The Defense Department on July 11 outlined new plans to streamline operations and cut down on costs, focusing on cloud strategies to be handled primarily by the Defense Information Systems Agency.

With DISA brokering the cloud services for military components, DOD seeks to  move the department's network applications from a "duplicative, cumbersome and costly set of application silos" to an envirionment offering greater agility and cost-effectiveness, according to the department.

“Cloud computing and cloud services offer unprecedented opportunities for cost savings, enhanced information sharing and mission effectiveness. However, the Department of Defense's mission assurance and information interoperability must be maintained as we take advantage of these emerging new capabilities,” DOD CIO Teri Takai said in a memorandum to Pentagon leadership. “The key to successfully leveraging cloud computing will be managing the new risks associated with an increasing dependence on rapidly emerging commercial technologies.”

DISA’s lead on the strategy is designed to emphasize those priorities, as well as better position the department to meet FedRAMP requirements and integrate with U.S. Cyber Commond defense operations. It’s also implementing department-wide standardization and laying the foundation for future defense IT plans and policies, according to DOD.

“We are moving to an enterprise cloud environment that provides tangible benefits across the department by supporting the delivery of the joint information environment, from the continental United States to the warfighter at the tactical edge. This strategy lays the groundwork, as part of the Joint Information Environment framework, for achieving cloud adoption within the department,” Takai wrote. “It focuses on the creation of department core data centers, enterprise cloud infrastructure and sustainment of cloud services.”

Under the plan, DOD components will be required to obtain cloud services through DISA or obtain a waiver from a designated review authority, according to the agency. DISA's role as a broker is defined by the National Institute of Science and Technology's cloud computing reference architecture.

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