Army Cloud Intelligence Center Will Give Greater Security, Better Access
Now in its third version of its Distributed Common Ground System - Army, or DCGS-A (the Army's interest of the more comprehensive Defense Intelligence Information Enterprise, or DI2E), the Army discusses their strategic development of a unified system of intelligence, analysis, integration, accessibility, response, and ultimately, eminent security. When asked what they've learned over the last decade of war, Mary Lynn Schnurr, the chief information officer for Army Intelligence, describes the Army's process for implementation of some of this education into greater and broader accessibility in the development of a cloud-based solution for intelligence.
"We have to move [what we've learned] into enabling programs of record," she says, "We have to start taking things that work well and move them into the future and sustain them." These attained resources include the military's first tactical cloud, which came online in Afghanistan in March of 2011. The cloud is the foundation of the intelligence gathering system. Within the cloud, information is accumulated and stored, it can then be analyzed and distributed, as needed, and from this, the key, according to Ms. Schnurr, is to develop other accessibility features.
This latest version of the system is designed to alleviate deficiencies identified in Afghanistan in 2010, deficiencies surrounding information retrieval which were due to an abundance of information housed in a still immature system. She says that the Army will modernize its network infrastructure even further, however, the efforts are not cloud for cloud's sake. "The bottom line for us has to be on the outcome. What can we get from the cloud," she injects, "The key is access."
The next steps, between now and 2014, will be the introduction of an app mall, where intelligence users can hand-select the specific widget-type applications they determine are most expedient. The focus, she says, is on moving to a more software-centric environment and changing the model the Army operates in. With the integration of extreme mobility, she says the Army is "going to continue to enhance what we're doing today, getting more mobile apps out there, building that app mall, and just getting soldiers what they need rapidly."
Priority one, still being better security, particularly around insider threats. She says "when WikiLeaks happened, we had regulations and rules in place. They just weren't being followed. It's a people problem that's very easily solved, coupled with technology."
Security, mobility, response, prevention, accessibility where and only where necessary ... the future of military intelligence on the cloud, the Army's name, rank, and serial number.