Welcome!

IBM Cloud Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Ed Featherston, William Schmarzo

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 writes on enterprise IT. He is a founder and partner at Cognitio Corp and publsher of CTOvision.com

@ThingsExpo Stories
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device.
Basho Technologies has announced the latest release of Basho Riak TS, version 1.3. Riak TS is an enterprise-grade NoSQL database optimized for Internet of Things (IoT). The open source version enables developers to download the software for free and use it in production as well as make contributions to the code and develop applications around Riak TS. Enhancements to Riak TS make it quick, easy and cost-effective to spin up an instance to test new ideas and build IoT applications. In addition to...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
“delaPlex Software provides software outsourcing services. We have a hybrid model where we have onshore developers and project managers that we can place anywhere in the U.S. or in Europe,” explained Manish Sachdeva, CEO at delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
From wearable activity trackers to fantasy e-sports, data and technology are transforming the way athletes train for the game and fans engage with their teams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, will present key data findings from leading sports organizations San Francisco 49ers, Orlando Magic NBA team. By utilizing data analytics these sports orgs have recognized new revenue streams, doubled its fan base and streamlined costs at its stadiums. John Paul is the CEO and Founder of VenueNext. Prior ...
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effi...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm ...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
Big Data engines are powering a lot of service businesses right now. Data is collected from users from wearable technologies, web behaviors, purchase behavior as well as several arbitrary data points we’d never think of. The demand for faster and bigger engines to crunch and serve up the data to services is growing exponentially. You see a LOT of correlation between “Cloud” and “Big Data” but on Big Data and “Hybrid,” where hybrid hosting is the sanest approach to the Big Data Infrastructure pro...
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
"My role is working with customers, helping them go through this digital transformation. I spend a lot of time talking to banks, big industries, manufacturers working through how they are integrating and transforming their IT platforms and moving them forward," explained William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
With 15% of enterprises adopting a hybrid IT strategy, you need to set a plan to integrate hybrid cloud throughout your infrastructure. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steven Dreher, Director of Solutions Architecture at Green House Data, discussed how to plan for shifting resource requirements, overcome challenges, and implement hybrid IT alongside your existing data center assets. Highlights included anticipating workload, cost and resource calculations, integrating services on both sides...
"We are a well-established player in the application life cycle management market and we also have a very strong version control product," stated Flint Brenton, CEO of CollabNet,, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
Unless your company can spend a lot of money on new technology, re-engineering your environment and hiring a comprehensive cybersecurity team, you will most likely move to the cloud or seek external service partnerships. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Darren Guccione, CEO of Keeper Security, revealed what you need to know when it comes to encryption in the cloud.
What are the successful IoT innovations from emerging markets? What are the unique challenges and opportunities from these markets? How did the constraints in connectivity among others lead to groundbreaking insights? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Carmen Feliciano, a Principal at AMDG, will answer all these questions and share how you can apply IoT best practices and frameworks from the emerging markets to your own business.
Ask someone to architect an Internet of Things (IoT) solution and you are guaranteed to see a reference to the cloud. This would lead you to believe that IoT requires the cloud to exist. However, there are many IoT use cases where the cloud is not feasible or desirable. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, will discuss the strategies that exist to extend intelligence directly to IoT devices and sensors, freeing them from the constraints of ...