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DoD issues new enterprise IT framework

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The Defense Information Systems Agency on May 21 released a new Defense Department-wide framework standardizing IT services throughout the military. The goal of the new guidance is to streamline operations while improving cybersecurity and saving money, among other priorities.

The DoD Enterprise Services Management Framework “provides guidance to standardize the management of IT services across DoD organizations and is the embodiment of the integration of various best practices, frameworks and standards that defines a Department-wide service management approach,” the memo states.

The framework focuses on service management, working to align processes and approaches for overseeing how IT programs and systems are run. It also lays out an initial lexicon to define standard terminology and areas of responsibilities under the DESMF.

At least part of the framework’s goal is to better position DoD to take advantage of faster-moving commercial technology, an idea underscored throughout the 159-page document.

“The goal of the DESMF is to provide a framework to successfully align the delivery of IT services with the mission of the Department,” the document states. “Successful [IT service management] integrates the contributions of people, processes, and technology that result in a combined effort to promote new ideas, effectiveness, and efficiencies by standard methods and practices that deliver value to mission partners. The DESMF will assist with efficient and effective industrialization of IT and the consumerization of IT services for value.

The ability to buy and deploy technology more quickly would directly benefit troops and improve cybersecurity, the document’s authors note in several different areas of the framework, including in the information security management and incident management “domain structures.” The incident management section in particular outlines recommended steps in responding to cyber breaches.

The plan also targets alignment under the Joint Information Environment, including through a DoD CIO campaign plan that “provides the requirements necessary for the DoD CIO, to ‘build agile and secure information technology capabilities to enhance combat power and decision making while optimizing value.'”

Among the key goals for the framework include providing transparent, documented best practices, roles and responsibilities; getting IT services to troops faster and more efficiently; identifying and understanding costs and improving on savings; better understanding of IT processes and their value; compliance and auditability; and the secure exchange of information and data.

DISA’s announcement comes on the heels of an internal memo from DoD CIO Terry Halvorsen that consolidates functions of several DoD IT offices under a Joint IT Single Service Provider-Pentagon. Services combined include those from the Army IT Agency, the Enterprise IT Services Directorate, the Deputy Chief Management Officer, the DoD CIO office and DISA.

“By consolidating common IT services into one single service provider, it will enable customer organizations to focus on their primary missions while receiving round-the-clock dedicated IT support from an organization with IT support as its sole mission,” said Lt. Col. Valerie Henderson, Pentagon spokeswoman. “This effort will produce a leaner DoD IT delivery organization with less overhead and reformed business and acquisition processes that will enable end-to-end visibility into the investment and accounting structures that support our IT mission.”

The first IT services to be consolidated include computer network defense, service help desk and video-teleconferencing services.