DISA strategic plan focuses on enterprise, cybersecurity and efficiencies

The Defense Information Systems Agency on Sept. 4 released its new strategic plan, guidance that takes into account the Defense Department’s shifting priorities and outlines the agency’s goals and objectives through 2018.

“This strategic plan serves as an overall focus for the agency and will be followed up with a specific campaign plan which will detail the initiatives we plan on implementing over the coming years,” said Tony Montemarano, DISA director of strategic planning and information. “The strategic plan is an initial mile marker to focus the workforce on the agency's priorities and goals.”

The just-released guidance is part of a new planning methodology for DISA, consisting of the development of the strategic plan, the campaign plan and a campaign implementation plan. In the past, the agency has released campaign plans.

It “provides a common understanding of our Agency mission and vision, and further identifies the strategic goals and key objectives that prioritize our efforts and postures the Agency for the future,” according to the document.

In particular, the strategic plan focuses on a number of IT priorities – cyber operations, enterprise capabilities, cloud services and mobility – as well as supports Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region. Agile acquisition also is a top goal.

DISA’s plan hinges on four “cross-cutting strategic goals:” evolve the joint information environment, provide joint command and control and leadership support, operate and assure the enterprise and optimize department investments.

Pentagon leadership in recent months designated DISA as a primary provider for defense IT across the military, including for cloud services and other enterprise capabilities. The plan outlines those offerings as part of its “strategic shifts," although it doesn't detail implementation plans.

Cybersecurity also takes on a principal role in the new strategic plan, with cyber mentioned in many of the document’s key objectives, which flesh out the four strategic goals. Much of DISA’s cyber focus is related to enterprise visibility and partnership as means to improve DOD’s cyber posture.

Days prior to the strategic plan’s release, DISA Vice Director Rear Adm. David Simpson stressed the enterprise focus as critical to national cybersecurity.

“As we go forward, we believe that the single-point-of-information environment, and building that environment as a platform, allows us to define the enemy’s lines of approach…but also to spot insider threat activity across the entire environment,” Simpson said Aug. 28 at an AFCEA event in Vienna, Va. “The ability to see across that entire space is absolutely critical.”

The strategic plan also includes some measures that appear to target efficiency and savings. Under “optimize department investments” are a few different budget-minded objectives, including the expansion of DISA’s collaborative Forge.mil platform.

In the Forge.mil expansion plans, DISA is looking to improve on the agency’s testing, evaluation and deployment processes, including by automating testing and certification and making the process more efficient and responsive. The strategic plan also calls for on-demand infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service capabilities integration with Forge.mil.

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