A 2018 analysis by the Department of Defense (DoD) chief information officer and the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) found inefficiencies in DoD information technology delivery, said John Sherman, principal deputy chief information officer.
"While we have made remarkable progress over the past year and a half in creating the foundation necessary to establish a single service provider for the department, we also recognize that this is not the time to rest on our laurels," Sherman said. "It will be a multi-year effort. And, we have significant work ahead of us."
The 2018 assessment catalogued and analyzed network and computer assets, software, staffing levels and existing support services contracts, finding that each organization operated its own unclassified and classified network and service desk, which requires over one thousand civilian personnel and 600 IT contracts to operate and maintain.
While organizations dedicated massive resources to IT, they were unable to keep pace with technology advancements and industry best practice due to the prioritization of their limited resources, Sherman added.
As a result of this analysis, the department launched the "Fourth Estate Network Optimization," which will incrementally consolidate IT systems that are separate from the military services to reduce the risks that could occur if it were launched across all the services.
Sherman noted that the initiative will work to create one efficient IT system across the department, including all of the services. Over the next year a majority of DOD organizations that are not part of the military services will migrate to this global service desk, he said.
All network and service desks will be operated by the DISA to improve visibility of cybersecurity vulnerabilities, reduce operating expenses, enable adoption of commercial innovations, allow organizations to focus on their core missions, create a consistent user experience and benefit the warfighter.