WASHINGTON — The Army is releasing a digital transformation plan as a way to synchronize all its technology modernization efforts and better posture itself for multidomain operations, according to the service’s chief information officer.
“This is a new way of doing business for the Army,” Raj Iyer told reporters at the annual AUSA conference. “What digital transformation is all about is us operating better with industry, leveraging commercial technologies like we never have before. … This is not one where we’re going to treat as an IT project. … This is about changing culture, it’s about empowering our workforce to do things differently and for us to leverage better these commercial technologies.”
The strategy is organized under three objectives: modernization and readiness, which includes creating a digitally-enabled, data-driven Army; reform, which involves optimizing and mission-aligning digital investments providing greater value to the Army; and people and partnerships, which involves improving the workforce.
Technologies associated with the plan include cloud, data, cybersecurity and mission networks.
Iyer said that the strategy would allow the Army to be able to prioritize the right initiatives and thereby save money.
Threats against military networks are a key driver in the push for digital transformation.
“The attacks that we’re getting in the Army are changing dramatically. It used to be perimeter defense would work well for defending our systems. Now a lot of those attacks have moved up the attack surface to the application level,” Maj. Gen. Matthew Easley, chief cybersecurity officer in the CIO’s office told reporters. “That forces us to change the way we think of cybersecurity” and systems, he added.
Iyer explained the Army wants to do enterprise computing in a more centralized way, which is also a departure from the past.
“Every commander has done their own thing and that’s all lead to a lot of silos of excellence over the years. If you look at the requirements for multidomain operations, that model doesn’t work anymore,” Iyer said. “We need to get to much more of a centralized approach of doing things and the cloud gives us that tremendous opportunity to do that.”
The strategy comes on the heels of the recently released unified network strategy, which seeks to link the enterprise network to the tactical.
Mark Pomerleau is a reporter for C4ISRNET, covering information warfare and cyberspace.