Can the Army Win the Battle – to Get Into the Cloud and Online Service?

  |  March 14, 2019

At a February 22, AFCEA luncheon, Army panelists discussed their battle to get into the cloud and use online IT services. Based on their comments, it is clear that the battle is in its early stages.

The panel included:
• Colonel (P) Jeth Rey, Army Cyber Command’s Director of Operations
• Colonel Nora Marcos, Network Cross-Functional Team’s Chief of Staff
• Colonel Carl Young, Chief of Architecture & Data Division. CIO/G6
• Colonel Wade Johnston, Network & Space Integration’s Division Chief
• Francis Rose, Moderator, Government Matters

The As A Service (aaS) Model

The discussion focused on the “as-a-service” model, where IT service is made available to a customer over a network rather than provide it locally or on-site. The most common include the three general cloud computing models: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

The IT Cultural Problem in the Army

Colonels Nora Marcos and Carl Young confirmed that the current problem moving forward is the culture in the Army of not sharing information and data among various Army agencies. Col. Young noted that they are partnering with the Navy and Air Force to learn how they share data among the numerous enterprises. He continued that the Army needs to work with both military and private sector to upgrade their network infrastructure, rather than doing everything in-house. In addition, IT has become so sprawling that the Government does not “have an authoritative card catalogue” of every system or how they work.

Dangers of the Cloud to the Army

Discussion included the question of how the Army network being in the hands of the private sector could be dangerous. Col. Rey mentioned these two major issues: One being the Army’s request for industry to “transport” the data from government user to government user. While also relaying how they’ve been looking into the hoteling and banking networks to help bolster the Army’s network security and operations.

Note: OCI thanks GovWin for much of the data in this article. The full article can be seen here.

Additionally, please see this article by former CIO Richard Spires on the critical problem of data security when using aaS service.

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