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DOD Works to Fortify Cloud, Acquisition, Data Processes

By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 17, 2013 – The Defense Department is taking bold steps to provide sound information and proper analysis as it fortifies its cloud computing, acquisition and data processes, a senior Pentagon official said here yesterday.

Mark Krzysko, DOD’s deputy director for acquisition resource analysis and enterprise information, explained the effort in remarks during a government technology conference.

Krzysko said cloud computing is among several new ways to provide decision-makers timely access to accurate, authoritative and reliable information.

“The technology, architecture framework and data management constructs the cloud can bring to us create ‘app-like’ thinking that [enables us to] move faster and forward more data sources out,” he said. The concept builds on an initiative begun in 2008 to streamline the acquisitions process, he added.

As an ever-increasing number of people continue to fuse data on mobile phones every day, Krzysko said, cloud computing should and will be the paradigm shift for the DOD as well. The challenge, he added, lies not only in deciphering how to make technology and cloud information work together, but also in how to best orchestrate the transition from a desktop environment to a mobile one while maintaining data security and integrity.

“It is pretty much a known … intractable problem, so it gives us the opportunity to experiment … [and] create an organization to manage data and delivery in support of the decision-makers,” he said. “We’re a bit of an enigma in the department, because we’re not a program, we’re not an initiative, but we are a part of the fabric there.”

Krzysko noted various laws that have influenced DOD’s efforts, including a mandate to report and certify major acquisitions at various milestones of the process.

“We have to tell Congress that the cost, schedule and performance are right,” he said. “We’ve got an awful lot of things [within] the policy layer of the department that influence both the processes and, ultimately, the data.”

Krzysko cited a success story of processes and data, noting that DOD technology analysts recently accessed PDF and Microsoft Word documents, compiled them, added tags, reviewed encryptions and, in six weeks’ time, “had the last year’s budget up and running on an Apple iPad.”

“We’re creating a cadre of people within the [defense] secretary’s office that are experts in acquisition information,” Krzysko said.

He stressed that the requirement remains to fully understand the processes, people and policy framework around the technology, data and acquisition evolution.

“We’re the fuel in the decision-making process; we are not the decision-making process,” Krsysko said. “We are just going to be a well-managed delivery outfit of information [the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics] can use.”


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