By Elizabeth Neus
As the intelligence community comes to conduct more of its business and mission operations in the cloud, agency CIOs have taken away one lesson: Getting there wasn’t as easy as expected. Unexpected costs, data-sharing issues, distant missions and ingrained culture have all been hurdles to overcome, a group of IC CIOs said at the 2019 DoDIIS Worldwide Conference in Tampa, Fla., this week.
But there are no regrets. “We put our shoulders hard into areas like the cloud,” said John Sherman, CIO for the intelligence community. “Now we’re coming ashore on the data services piece. We’ve got the compute in place, the network issues we continue to work out. We’ve got to get this right.”
Cloud Migration Remains in Early Phase for Many Enterprises
In June, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a strategic plan on advancing cloud computing in the IC that calls for supporting artificial intelligence and machine learning, applications and data that are portable, and workflows that move across multiple layers of security.
The initial strategy, said Defense Intelligence Agency CIO Jack Gumtow, had been that everything must go to the cloud. But that was not always technically feasible, so DIA now looks at two other criteria: Does it provide a
mission impact? What is the business cost analysis?
As far as mission impact, cloud is still limited by geography; there are regions that providers cannot reach because they’re too far from home base, he said. And sending everything to the cloud at once often creates a fixed bill, he added: “It’s not as simple as, ‘Let’s go in the cloud.’”
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