The military needs better control of its data. Can you help?

Stephanie Meloni_65x85DCGS, military, surveillance, advanced analytics, cybersecurityThe military’s Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS) is a weapons system that produces military intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to multiple military branches and government agencies. It’s a highly important intelligence tool and it’s in need of a major tech infusion, said IT leaders last week.

The program managers and developers at the Northern Virginia Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association event last week discussed the current and future state of DCGS, which is in need of open architecture, analytics and stronger cybersecurity.

Right now the system, which organizes information from more than 500 sources, segments its data into various stovepipes. Leaders want more cross domain capabilities in order to secure and exchange intelligence information across various military service systems and within individual networks and databases, reported Defense Systems.

This need opens up a whole host of technology needs. Here are three the tech industry will want to focus on when discussing solutions:

Configuration management

Open architecture is going to be critical to the future of DCGS, and deploying this new construct while sustaining legacy systems is one of the biggest challenges these leaders face. Implementing an open architecture will allow them to field new commercial technologies more quickly. Throughout FY17, the Air Force will be piloting open architecture stacks, so along with the rest of the service branches, Air Force will be looking to the private sector to help securely collapse existing infrastructure while enabling continuity of operations.

Advanced analytics

All the leaders agreed that analysts need to spend less time searching for data and producing reports and more time on the actual delivery of the information. There’s a need for reports to become auto-generated, especially as the number of sensors continues to grow, without the ability to add more analysts. Col. Kristopher Gifford, who sits within the Air Force’s headquarters intel office, would like a capability that condenses the vast amount of data analysts must sift through, and automatically provides only the most relevant pieces. His office is also interested in exploring machine learning in order to find the most relevant content for analysts.

Col. Robert Collins, who serves as the program manager for the Army’s DCGS system, also mentioned a need for better data tagging in order to improve information sharing, which will enable cross-domain operations for the Department of Defense.


As the pace of cyber threats continues to speed up, cybersecurity remains a top priority. A newer cyber priority will be applying predictive analytics to counter cyber threats. The military also needs to harden the systems’ defensive posture, so leaders will be looking for solutions for threat and vulnerability assessments, systems engineering, continuous monitoring and data protection tools.

Want to hear more about the military’s IT needs? Learn more about immixGroup’s Market Intelligence team.

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