Army looks to increase oversight, centralization of IT spending

Army CIO Dr. Raj Iyer speaks at the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes Dec. 15 for a pinning ceremony. (Photo by Emanuel Cavallaro/DoD)

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The Army has established two new councils to oversee IT spending with the goal of helping the service centralize its purchasing of services and visibility of digital modernization.

As part of a new digital strategy published Wednesday, the Army announced the creation of an IT Oversight Council and Army Digital Oversight Council. It has also introduced a new tool for managing software licenses.

Increased oversight and reform of IT acquisition is one of the three pillars to the Digital Transformation Strategy, the other two being “modernization and readiness” and “people and partnerships.”

The new councils will provide deeper oversight into how the Army is spending the $15 billion it has allocated to the procurement of digital technology and services. The Army wants to move towards a central enterprise IT management structure, rather than the current constellation of disparate systems.

“The Army must maximize the value derived from its digital transformation investments, which begins with transparency into all phases of the Army’s [planning, programming, budgeting, and execution] process from planning through execution,” states the strategy, which was signed by Army CIO Raj Iyer.

The strategy also says that the Army must “fundamentally reassess how the digital budget is addressed in the [Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution] process.”

The Army is following the Air Force and Navy in moving towards an enterprise management approach for its IT services.

The strategy also highlights an overarching IT Investment Accountability effort, which was launched in fiscal 2021 along with the other councils.

“The IT Investment Accountability (ITIA) effort will increase the ability of the Army to see, assess, redirect, and control IT resources,” the strategy states.

Cybersecurity

To enhance both cybersecurity and ease of access for remote workers, the Army plans to divest its outdated government-furnished equipment and prioritize network security that will allow for employees to use their own devices.

The Army plans to invest in virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) that will allow access anywhere.

“The Army will provide greater support for Bring Your Own Approved Devices (BYOAD) and over time, divest from procuring government-furnished equipment (GFE) mobile devices and even laptops where feasible, in conjunction with expanded and robust Vendor Threat Mitigation programs across the Army,” the strategy states.

The Army also plans to divest from unclassified video teleconferencing, analog telephones, MilSuite, Army Knowledge Online (AKO) and command-level SharePoint instances. The services these applications offered will be replaced by Army 365, the Army’s instance of DOD 365, the military’s virtual work software suite of tools built around Microsoft Office 365.

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Army, Department of Defense (DOD), IT acquisition, raj iyer
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