As part of ongoing efforts to reorganize the Defense Information Systems Agency, officials are emphasizing efficiencies and effectiveness through Defense Department-wide partnerships aiming to streamline defense IT operations.
Much of DISA's transformational efforts center on the "five Cs" – cyber, cloud, collaboration, command and control, DISA Director Lt. Gen. Ronnie Hawkins said Jan. 12 at an AFCEA DC event in Arlington, Va.
The reorganization includes four centers: business and development, implementation and sustainment, resource management and operations. The centers are meant to centralize requirements and analyses within organizations, as well as communications efforts, engineering, solutions, development, testing and evaluation, DISA officials said at the event.
DISA's reorganization also hinges on the launch of Joint Force Headquarters – DoD Information Networks, an entity announced in November 2014 that reaches initial operating capability in the coming days, DISA officials said. The creation of the JFHQ will initially take charge of 19 tasks – another number expected to grow – from U.S. Cyber Command's operational levels, leaving the military's cyber arm to focus on strategic functions.
The transformation involves close collaboration between at least 39 Defense organizations, a number that is expected to grow in the coming months as plans continue to be fleshed out and needs arise, said DISA Chief of Staff Brig. Gen. Robert Skinner.
The goal is to "build partnerships and provide consistent command and control capabilities and continuity of command," Skinner said. "The biggest benefit is that partnership, whether it's situational awareness or operational teams. The goal is to make sure we all have unity of effort and unity of command."
"As we build our breadth and depth…partners and tasks will increase," Skinner said. Among the early tasks are the standup of operational planning teams and the provision of orders, rules and overarching framework to service components and other partners for securing DoD networks.
The JFHQ will reach full operational capacity later this year, according to Skinner.
Beyond cyber, the reorganization also includes contracting, cloud and mobility pieces.
Hawkins said officials are working to align contracting functions under DISA's component acquisition executive office, and Mark Orndorff, DISA chief information assurance executive, expects guidance on DoD use of commercial cloud as early as Jan. 13. (See related story).
"We've worked with DoD CIO, NSA and [industry] to balance the full benefits of commercial cloud providers with security," Orndorff said, noting that guidance had been delayed because "the risk guys wanted to take more risk than the lawyers."
Classified systems and data will remain physically isolated and not be part of any commercial cloud programs, he added.
Additionally, a portfolio organization is being established to evaluate and oversee mobile devices, technology and security, including DoD-wide pilot programs led by DISA, officials said.
"It's not going to happen in the next month, but by the end of the 2015 calendar year I think we will be solidly ensconced…and working at cyber speed toward where we want to go," Hawkins said.
Hawkins also said he expects to step down sometime this year, but did not offer any details about when that would happen or whom his replacement may be.