DIA preparing to jump into IC’s new IT environment

Grant Schneider, the Defense Intelligence Agency's chief information officer, said his agency and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency will be among the ...

The Intelligence Community’s IT Enterprise program has been under development for just over a year and the first pieces of the joint IT services and network are coming to bear later this summer.

The Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency will be among the first agencies to move their top secret/sensitive compartmentalized information into ICITE’s environment in late fiscal 2013.

“ICITE will deliver the intelligence community cloud,” said Grant Schneider, the DIA’s chief information officer. “We’ve got a couple of initial data sets we will put on there as a community, and then we’ll start transitioning individual agency capabilities after that, so really into fiscal 2014.”

He said DIA and NGA are the service providers for the desktop environment and are working to deliver it by the end of this year.

“We recently provided the security documentation to the DNI for certification, and we’ve been working through some functional and security testing so we can meet that initial operating capability date,” Schneider said. “That delivery of IOC, which will be about a little over 2,000 customers, is our prime focus this summer.”

He said DIA and NGA will develop for the rest of the intelligence community a virtual desktop, email services, home directory, Sharepoint, and eventually unified communications, on to the existing thin client environment.

“We’ve broken the desktop delivery into two phases. Phase 1 being DIA and NGA. Phase 2 being where we will expand to the rest of the community. Phase 1 we are doing with our existing hardware, infrastructure and our existing resources to deliver that resources,” Schneider said. “For phase 2, there will be a major acquisition and we are looking to have that RFP on the street really in the next four-to-six months, and hoping to have an award six months after that, and start delivering capabilities six months after that.”

He said DIA has held several industry days already about the solicitation.

DIA will continue to use its current cloud infrastructure, called Orion, for its secret and unclassified domains.

“We certainly expect that we will have to expand the ICITE initiative beyond the TS/SCI environment,” he said. “What that will look like and how we will partner with the DoD in the future because Teri Takai, as the DoD CIO, has the joint information environment, which we are also employing in the DoD space to be sure that our collateral, secret and unclassified capabilities are aligned architecturally with what she’s doing.”

Schneider said Orion is showing DIA the benefits, both in terms of cost and efficiencies, of a virtualized and cloud environment.

“We are totally in sync with where we will end up to and as soon as we possibly can, we will get our capabilities onto the IC version,” he said. “We are seeing both cost savings and ease of administration, which is driving the cost savings.”

But even with the success of Orion, the future is ICITE.

Schneider said Orion is DIA’s ICITE transition strategy.

Schneider said that’s why DIA’s $6.6 billion SITE contract for IT services will merge into an intelligence communitywide procurement effort as well.

“One of the initiatives that the ODNI is leading and is pulling together, and basically issued some data calls to us, to collect our contract data so that we can start to align not just the DIA contracts, but what are the community contracts we have across different agencies so we can award some community contracts for services of common concern,” he said.

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