DISA Industry Day: Times have changed

August 10, 2013
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Today I joined 400 of my favorite colleagues to hear DISA’s annual Forecast to Industry. I have attended this forum at Tampa, Disneyworld, Grand ole’ Opry (almost, it flooded out), Disneyland and other exotic locations. This year we congregated in the conference room at the DISA Headquarters on Fort Meade. Have times changed!! Despite the fact that the event was streamed live over the Internet to anyone who signed up, we were separated from our electronic devices and spent the day in blissful isolation, reviewing the small list of upcoming opportunities for industry. We have posted a copy of their slides here: Forecast-Brief-9Aug

General Hawkins warmly welcomed us and pitched the beauty of the Joint Information Environment JIE Concept and how the resulting changes to the Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTP’s) will transform our DoD enterprise by bringing everything together under one network.


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He has made some recent organizational changes that will support these shifts, and they include a plus up in the inspector general office to give better oversight on audits and financial qualifications. He has also converged Enterprise Services and the CIO role, and stood up a new JIE/Joint Technical Synchronization Officer (JTSO) to focus on moving JIE outward.


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Mobility was forefront in all the discussions. DISA appears to be sticking their neck out a little bit further than in years past. You can wait until the world has played with a new technology for a few years before you try to integrate it into your portfolio, or you can accept a little risk and step out early on to be part of the community that makes it a safe product. I think we are seeing a transition to the latter.

We have been hearing about Unified Communications for years. The real benefit to JIE will be in the deployment of UC solutions that the entire workforce can seamlessly use. With travel dollars too precious, the ability to meet and greet digitally is a huge benefit. Today’s Streaming of the Industry Day was one example. Nothing will ever replace good-ole-handshaking, but it’s close.

Make use of the cloud is still extremely important. DISA sees two distinct functions related to providing a commercial cloud to the warfighter. The Cloud Broker role will bring an independent view of the requirements and find solutions that works in a DoD environment. The Cloud Provider productizes the commercial cloud solutions and makes them available to the user. All the great ideas discussed today assumed that they did these roles right.

Ms. Moran (Communications), the consummate professional, always inspires me. Since the real bread and butter of the JIE is their ability to collapse and optimize the existing networks, her success in this area is critical. In case you missed it, there’s been a name change. DISN is now DODIN (DoD Information Network). Basically the same as DISN but the demarcation lines are different and there are no more artificial barriers (such as we had in the GIG) – basically USER to END DEVICE.

Mr. Bennett, now the CIO and the Enterprise Services lead, has been empowered by DoD CIO Ms. Takai to take over the world. All the core data centers in the JIE (in CONUS) MUST (by Ms. Takai’s JULY2013 Memo) be DISA DECCS. How he will wrestle the data out of service centers is beyond me. Navy just invested a bundle in their new data centers in Charleston, New Orleans and San Diego.

Defending the core data centers becomes a huge priority when everyone has trusted (some by direction rather than desire) their family jewels to this vault. Here is where the heart of the JIE actually lies, and the enterprise must stay heart-healthy to survive.

Overall an outstanding day. The best part was the long networking breaks where key DISA leaders made themselves available to anyone who had a question. No amount of cloud or UC could replace that!