DISA plots out five year plan to keep DoD’s cyber edge

The Defense Information Systems Agency's recently released five-year strategic plan takes a multi-pronged approach to building what DISA Director Lt. Gen. Ronni...

The Defense Information Systems Agency’s recently released five-year strategic plan takes a multi-pronged approach to maintaining what DISA Director Lt. Gen. Ronnie Hawkins calls “information superiority.”

The DISA plan aligns with a broader revamp of Defense Department policy unveiled earlier this year, which aimed for a more agile defense apparatus.

Tony Montemarano, the director of DISA’s Strategic Planning and Information Directorate, joined Pentagon Solutions hosted by Francis Rose, to discuss how DISA leaders developed the new guidance.


“As the department evolves to meet the challenges of today’s information environment, so too must DISA evolve,” according to the preface to DISA strategic plan.

The plan begins with an eight-pronged guide to the initial efforts — what DISA called “strategic shifts” — to be taken.

Those efforts include:

Supporting DoD’s global posture — The DISA strategy stated the agency will help support shift toward the Asia-Pacific region as called for in DoD’s broader strategy.

“We will lead the development and operation of a layered, fault-tolerant enterprise information environment consisting of rapidly deployable components that allow for contingency operations in a full range of conflict,” according to the strategy.

Joint Information Environment — In addition, DISA will take the lead in synchronizing the Pentagon’s Joint Information Environment. “We will enable a consolidated, collaborative and secure JIE enabling end-to-end information sharing and interdependent enterprise services across the department.”

DoD’s cloud-services broker — The agency further mapped out its role as the Pentagon’s cloud-services broker to “enable rapid provisioning of services.” DISA aims to streamline the architecture by consolidating data and network-operations centers and transitioning to cloud platforms.

Leveraging commercial mobility options — DISA will leverage commercial technologies to promote security mobile capabilities, according to the strategy. The agency will collaborate with industry and other stakeholders to develop security baselines.

Aiming for agile acquisition — Push toward more agile development, which stresses incremental development as opposed to unwieldy multi-year approaches. DISA said it hopes doing so will reduce cumbersome acquisition cycles and speed delivery times.

DISA as early adopter — Called “DISA first,” this initiative aims to put the agency at the head of the line to test new capabilities before rolling them out departmentwide.

The early-adopter role “will allow us to validate the capability meets the stated requirements, identify and resolve any issues with the capability and demonstrate the operational viability of the capability.”


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