Welcome!

Oracle Authors: Michael Meiner, Carmen Gonzalez, Trevor Parsons, MC Brown, Pat Romanski

Blog Feed Post

INSA Publishes White Paper on Intelligence Community Information Technology Enterprise

By

Insa_clearThe Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) has released a white paper documenting the vision and approach for enhancing enterprise information technology in support of intelligence and national security missions. This paper, titled  ”Doing in Common What Is Commonly Done” provides insights based on interviews of government leaders including CIOs, CTOs and other agency leadership.

The goal of the IC ITE approach is to move to an IT posture that is more integrated and service based (with 10 common service offerings across the IC for primary IT functions). IC level portfolio management will also be done enabling IT decisions to be made by more informed IT leaders across the enterprise. And enhancements will be made to the IC enterprise IT acquisition process, including more centralized and synchronized IT acquisition and more progressive models for procurement (like SOA and Agile instead of typical procurement).

From the paper:

 

The IC ITE focuses on greater integration, information security, and information sharing while seeking substantial cost reductions through shared infrastructure and service models. The IC recognizes that each agency has particular strengths or core competencies that can be better leveraged by designating IC elements to act as Service Providers for specific capabilities for the entire Community. The DNI designates the IC Service Providers who are responsible for determining investment requirements and using their respective acquisition and contract authorities to execute their IC ITE responsibilities. Currently identified common services and their respective providers include: the Desktop Environment, DIA and NGA; IC Cloud Services, NSA and CIA; Applications Mall, NSA; and Applications Stores, all agencies.

The IC ITE will be delivered in increments with Increment 1 (Initial Operating Capability, or – IOC) in FY13 and achievement of Full Operating Capability (FOC) planned in FY18. Increments for the IC ITE will include all activities required to plan for and implement IC ITE services, including scaling services across the IC enterprise, transitioning relevant legacy data and applications, and retiring legacy capabilities as appropriate. The initial IC ITE services focus on delivery of a common IC desktop, common back office tools, broader and standardized access to analytic tools and applications, and data-centric computing using complementary government-developed and commercial cloud architectures. Development of Increment 1 began in 2012 and ultimately intends to deliver enterprise capabilities for the IC Cloud Environment, the IC Desktop Environment, and the IC Applications Mall services. Future increments propose to deliver additional ITE services and capabilities based on mission needs, and will further define/refine governance, cost recovery business models, and additional efficiency opportunities. In five years, the IC expects all agencies to be leveraging this shared services platform with each providing or paying for enterprise services. This baseline platform and new Community IT ecosystem is expected to enable and encourage innovation to occur and to spread rapidly.

For industry, especially the IT vendors, one of the most important paragraphs follows:

The IC will lean heavily on industry to conduct R&D on enterprise solutions – COTs technology will likely predominate. Acquisition will be deliberate to provide some stability in enabling organized change. Outsourcing may be considered as long as vendors can meet service needs on a sustainable basis without sacrificing mission agility. Vendors depending on revenue streams from cost-prohibitive long-term license fees will likely find themselves disadvantaged as the IC ITE moves forward. Integrators who specialize in specific agencies may also be disadvantaged when the IC is seeking enterprise-wide solutions.

I encourage all technologists from all enterprises, even totally commercial enterprises, to review this INSA document for lessons learned for your particular organization. And for those who serve the national security community I encourage you to read closely both so you can see what is coming next and so you can provide input where you think it is necessary.

I have heard from IC IT leaders directly on this activity, and they genuinely want continued feedback. I’m working up thoughts for IC leaders myself on this. My inputs so far will probably be minor but my view is I must show friends in government that I care so I will provide input. I encourage you to do that as well.

One piece of input I’ll publicly state just for continued dialog: I found this summary of IC ITE views and vision to be overly simplistic in how “industry” is thought of. I think that may be because most IC CIOs and CTOs come from life-long careers in government. Or maybe it is because the document is just a summary and it doesn’t reflect the real nuanced views of IC IT leadership. But to try to summarize all that is not government under the term “industry” just falls flat with me. In the views of many who were interviewed for this summary, there is the government and there are vendors and it is that black and white. In the real nuanced world, there are many segments to American industry and to assume they are all the same weakens your ability to work with and influence and get the best from these many segments.

When it comes to IT, a useful segmentation of “industry” for national security decision makers might be: Systems Integrators, Service Companies/Consultancies and IT Vendors. Considering “industry” this way instead of as just one big blob can help inform and produce a more impactful strategy.

Here is how this sort of segmentation of IT related firms might look:

  • Systems Integrators (SIs): Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, SAIC, Raytheon, CSC, Harris, GD
  • Services Companies and Consultancies: the SIs do some of this but many firms specialize here, including CACI, BAH, ManTech, Camber, the FFRDC (Mitre, Aerospace) and many others
  • IT vendors: Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, Google, Amazon, Cisco, SAP, HP, EMC, RedHat, Cloudera, Thetus, MarkLogic, Cleversafe, Terracotta, Fixmo, Recorded Future, Sitscape, Triumfant, Invincea, WayIn, etc etc.

I’d be the first to admit this segmentation of the IT industry is not perfect (some companies do not fit this model), but it has a bit more fidelity than lumping all industry into one term, and if it were used in the IC ITE it would allow a more meaningful expression of intent. For example, the INSA articulation of the IC ITE makes it seem that the IC views all of industry as traditionally embedding themselves in an IC element for years to provide all holistic IT support. Clearly this is not talking about all of industry, it must refer to the systems integrators. In other parts it talks of industry needing to change software license models. This makes more sense if it is aimed at the IT vendors segment, not services firms and usually not systems integrators.  And portions which talk about the need for new educational and training for commercial workforces are probably focused on the Service companies. Lumping all kinds of industry serving IC IT needs into one term is sub optimal for many reasons which I will leave to readers to consider.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley, former CTO of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), is Founder and CTO of Crucial Point LLC, a technology research and advisory firm providing fact based technology reviews in support of venture capital, private equity and emerging technology firms. He has extensive industry experience in intelligence and security and was awarded an intelligence community meritorious achievement award by AFCEA in 2008, and has also been recognized as an Infoworld Top 25 CTO and as one of the most fascinating communicators in Government IT by GovFresh.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...