Information Enterprise Modernization Is an Important DOD Priority, Official Says

Source: DoD (Defense.gov)

Cloud adoption, software modernization, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity are paramount to all Defense Department missions, the acting deputy chief information officer for the Information Enterprise said. 

Lily Zeleke spoke today at a Worldwide Technology and Intel-hosted event. 

“Our ability to deliver information at resilience and speed, as well as [delivering] secure information to our people, is paramount to staying ahead of adversaries,” she said. 

Funding these technologies within the appropriated budget is a balance between cost efficiency and mission effectiveness, Zeleke said. 

“We’re working for the public and for the country. I emphasize that resources and costs are critical, but the mission is just as critical, so it is a balance between cost effectiveness and mission effectiveness for us,” she said.  

Zeleke also said that zero trust is a big factor in making the movement to the cloud a success. 

“Zero trust is sort of like assuming that the adversary might already be in [the network],” she said.  

Therefore, zero trust is about protecting the data at all levels and giving the right persons at the right security levels access to the data they need for mission success, she said. 

DOD has a massive amount of data, she noted. “It’s really how we analyze it, process it, make sense of it, and deliver it to our warfighters and components in a way that it’s usable.” 

Each of the services and the department are now working to converge, streamline and implement information enterprise modernization, as laid out in DOD’s 2022 Software Modernization Strategy, she said. 

“It is not simple, because our processes are ingrained and we have a big organization, but it’s not impossible,” she said. “Technology’s the easy part. … But people are complicated. Processes are complicated. 

“We need all hands-on deck,” she said, referring to DOD’s need to partner with allies, industry and academia.