Change is coming to the intelligence community

mark-wisinger_65x85ic_013117By Mark Wisinger, senior analyst

Before President Trump entered office, there was widespread speculation on how he would change the intelligence community. Incoming administrations typically lean on intel agencies to get up to speed on security issues, yet this election cycle featured President Trump’s open criticism of the three letter agencies.

It’s safe to assume there will be a few changes in this space. Much of the tension and debate is beyond the scope of this blog, but I’ll break down two significant changes I’m predicting will shake things up for IT procurement.

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An early look at the Transportation Command’s technology needs

mark-wisinger_65x85By Mark Wisinger, senior analystUS Transportation Command

Anyone doing business with the Combatant Commands should keep a close eye on the Defense Personal Property System and the Integrated Multi-Modal Operations programs at the US Transportation Command. Both will need industry help starting in late FY17 and companies should have these opportunities on their radar now.

Several of these requirements were detailed at TRANSCOM’s IT Industry Day on Dec. 8, along with IT focus areas for its program portfolio.

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Why you need to pay attention to DLA

mark-wisinger_65x85data-analytics_110316By Mark Wisinger, analyst

The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) is a large organization that handles logistics combat support for the Department of Defense. It also happens to have a $720 million FY17 IT budget. And as we recently heard from DLA Program Executive Officer, Bill Tinston, the agency has several IT initiatives that should be on the radar of data solution providers, as well as infrastructure and cloud vendors.

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Big IT Opportunities at Small Defense Agency

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Defense Security Service’s Second Annual Technology Industry Day.

mark-wisinger_65x85By Mark Wisinger, Analyst

The Defense Security Service (DSS) is a small agency with a big job—the Quantico-based Department of Defense organization provides the military services, defense agencies, 30 federal agencies, and 13,500 cleared contract facilities with security support services.

It’s also an agency with a significant need for technology. At its second annual Technology Industry Day earlier this month, DSS chief information officer, Craig Kaucher (pictured, red tie), cited four key mission areas: industrial security, education and training, insider threat, and IT support.

Here are other takeaways from the event:

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Business and Operations Opportunity at DeCA

mark-wisinger_65x85DeCA BizOpers_083116By Mark Wisinger, Market Intelligence Analyst

The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA), which operates a chain of grocery stores for military personnel and their families, is quietly scaling its IT organization and footprint, creating an opportunity for vendors in the business and operations market.

The Enterprise Business Solution (EBS), DeCA’s new point-of-sale system, is receiving a funding bump in FY17 for customer relationship management (CRM) and financial information management solutions as the program expands. DeCA’s industry partner is NCR Government, which is the prime contract holder until 2020.

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Consolidation Ain’t Just for Data Centers

mark-wisinger_65x85data centerBy Mark Wisinger, Analyst

The Department of Defense has a multitude of agencies with missions varying from missile defense to audit compliance. The challenge is noticing the subtle overall trends that permeate their IT priorities.

One word describes what the agencies are up to: Consolidation. It’s happening on several fronts, including procurement, the data center, and the application portfolio.

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NSA Reorg = Vendor Opportunities

mark-wisinger_65x85By Mark Wisinger, Analyst042116-NSA sign

On February 8, the National Security Agency (NSA) announced its reorganization effort, known as NSA21. Navy Adm. Michael Rogers, NSA’s director, wants to bridge the notable gap between two previously distinct organizations within NSA: Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) and the Information Assurance Directorate (IAD). Let’s break down each group and what the change means for industry.

The SIGINT directorate served as the “offensive” organization, focused on intelligence collection through offensive capabilities. Much of NSA’s publicity originates from SIGINT.

The IAD has been focused on purely defensive capabilities and more open in communicating with industry historically. IAD typically uses more COTS software than SIGINT; IAD director Curtis Dukes looks to commercial IT to help bridge gaps and allow his personnel to focus on operational duties. The organization is also much smaller than SIGINT with 3,000 employees versus about 24,000 at SIGINT. IAD’s employees tend to work more closely with industry and are frequently poached by the private sector for their defensive skillsets.

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NGA Rolling Out the Welcome Mat for Cutting Edge IT

Mark Blog Post.pngmark-wisinger_65x85.jpgby Mark Wisinger, Analyst

One of the lesser-known “Big Five” intelligence agencies, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), has been making large strides that mean new opportunities for technology companies. NGA consolidated its CIO and IT services offices under Douglas McGovern’s leadership. NGA’s deputy director, Susan Gordon, has instructed McGovern to be less risk-adverse. Now the newly consolidated office is focused on exploring technologies like mobility that were previously considered too risky. Expect NGA’s investment strategy to continue embracing cutting edge IT. Read more of this post

Riding the Wave of IT Procurement Consolidation in DOD

dv131001Mark Wisingerby Mark Wisinger, Analyst

For the past few years, the term “consolidation” has become synonymous with data center consolidation — a major initiative across public sector. The federal government’s objective in data center consolidation is clear: minimize spending and do more with less.

While data center consolidation has taken limelight for some time now, procurement consolidation is becoming a widespread initiative as it focuses on efficient spending. Let’s take a look at how DOD’s procurement consolidation impacts the bottom line of technology companies that do business with the government, and how you can ride “the wave of IT procurement consolidation.” Read more of this post

3 Joint Staff Takeaways from MILCOM 2015

Number 3 Fingers_CroppedMark Wisingerby Mark Wisinger, Analyst

Joint Staff J6 Director Lt. Gen. Mark Bowman recently spoke at MILCOM 2015 with DOD topics such as the Joint Information Environment (JIE), the Joint Regional Security Stack (JRSS), and interoperability top of mind. These reflections shed light on the Joint Staff’s IT priorities and challenges.

Here are the three main takeaways that COTS vendors and channel partners (large and small) will find of value:

  1. Common Architecture

At this juncture, Lt. Gen. Bowman believes the DOD’s JIE should be more advanced — progress is not moving fast enough. He indicated that there is a need for common architecture, especially an architecture than can be controlled by the Cyber Command (CYBERCOM) via the DOD Information Network Joint Force Headquarters (DODIN-JFHQ). Open and compatible architecture is a continuing challenge for the DOD at large. Ensure your product messaging emphasizes compatibility, as this is the key element the Joint Staff is looking for in COTS products. Read more of this post

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