The Defense Information Systems Agency released its new 2013-2018 strategic plan, capturing both the shift in strategic global focus by the Defense Department and the new realities of supporting DoD’s technology and communications needs on a more limited budget.

Foremost among the shifts in DISA’s new plan: Becoming better positioned to support DoD’s strategic re-balancing efforts towards the Asia-Pacific region – and supporting a “joint force of the future that will be smaller and leaner, but also be agile, flexible, ready, and technologically advanced,” the report said.

The plan also emphasizes a more pronounced – albeit familiar – effort to accommodate the communications and information sharing network needs for the Joint Force of the future.

In prefacing the new strategy, DISA’s director, Air Force Lt. Gen. Ronnie Hawkins (pictured below), cited the guidance and strategy of “the President, Secretary of Defense, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff…for creating the military of the future. The chairman stated, ‘We must develop a Joint Force for 2020 that remains ready to answer the nation’s call-anytime, anywhere. We need to offset fewer resources with more innovation,’ ” Hawkins said.

Among other shifts in emphasis, DISA’s plans for much of the rest of the decade are centered around:

  • Posturing the agency in concert with U.S. Cyber Command to expand defensive cyber operations and DoD Global Information Grid Operations mission support.
  • Developing and enhancing enterprise solutions in support of national leadership and nuclear command and control.
  • Provisioning services for the Department more rapidly by serving as DoD’s cloud services broker, while consolidating data and network operations centers.
  • Employing an agile development acquisition strategy that reduces procurement cycle times and accelerates delivery of critical capabilities.
“Our target objective state is an enterprise information environment that optimizes the use of the DoD IT assets, converging communications, computing, and enterprise services into a single joint platform that can be leveraged for all Department missions,” the plan stated in typical military speak. An example of that is DISA’s ongoing efforts to migrate 1.4 million Army email accounts to a new cloud-based enterprise email platform.

More specifically, DISA’s strategy revolves around four major goals, each with a series of objectives:

1. Evolve the Joint Information Environment

1.1 Implement and sustain an efficient, converged, and consolidated IT infrastructure accessible by all means from anywhere within the DoD and by any authorized user.

1.2 Develop Joint Enterprise Mission Assurance Solutions that expand and extend the security protections of the Department’s information assets focusing on solutions and capabilities, while enabling authorized users to productively access needed information using any device and from anywhere in DoD.

1.3 Provide a portfolio of optimized and integrated enterprise service offerings that enable DoD-wide efficiencies and effectiveness, and improved responsiveness to dynamic joint and coalition mission partner needs

1.4 Establish an overarching enterprise security architecture to secure and enable optimized and synchronized networks, programs, enterprise services, and joint and coalition operations.

1.5 Provide a full array of electromagnetic spectrum services and capabilities ranging from short notice on-the-ground operational support at the forward edge to long range planning.

1.6 Promote rapid delivery and utilization of secure mobile capability, leveraging commercial mobile technology to enable an agile deployment environment for new and innovative applications to support evolving Warfighter requirements.

2. Provide Joint Command and Control (JC2) and Leadership Support

2.1 Develop, enhance, and operate national leadership enterprise solutions.

2.2 Evolve the JC2 architecture and deploy its associated C2 enterprise capabilities.

2.3 Develop and integrate material solutions as a foundation for the Future Mission Network concept.

3. Operate and Assure the Enterprise

3.1 Operate and assure a reliable, available resilient, secure, and protected global net-centric enterprise in direct support of joint and coalition warfighting.

3.2 Ensure DISA capabilities are operated and defended; supported by life-cycle sustainment, standardization and interoperability to achieve operational effects.

3.3 Optimize mission partner engagement to anticipate, influence, and respond to DoD mission requirements.

3.4 Assess, shape, and influence the Agency’s readiness posture to ensure the Agency is capable of meeting warfighting requirements.

3.5 Conduct, shape, and influence operational readiness, cyber risk management, and compliance processes to operate and secure the DoD enterprise infrastructure.

3.6 Evolve DISA’s global network operations structure through DOTMLPF analysis to maximize service operations, management, and mission assurance of the DISA-provided products and services, Cyber C2, and enterprise information environment.

3.7 Adjust the Agency’s capabilities to accommodate the Department’s shift in global defensive posture for the 21st Century.

4. Optimize Department Investments

4.1 Promote the implementation of acquisition and procurement policies, processes, and practices that enable the development of the enterprise concept and provide agile enterprise IT contract solutions for the Department.

4.2 Establish and sustain a comprehensive framework to guide the development of Department
systems, services, and capabilities for improved interoperability.

4.3 Align and prepare our workforce and DISA infrastructure to meet mission needs.

4.4 Demonstrate fiscal responsibility in every aspect of our operations.

4.5 Evolve the DoD’s development, test, certification, deployment, and sustainment lifecycle to accelerate capability delivery and reduce lifecycle costs.

4.6 Clearly communicate the Agency strategy, and available DISA services and capabilities, both internal and external to the Agency.

4.7 Support DoD’s governance of the Joint Information Environment (JIE) Initiative.

4.8 Integrate industry best practices into the existing DISA operational framework to make internal Agency interactions more efficient and improve service and responsiveness to our Agency partners.