The military branch wants to experiment with application programming interfaces to learn more about their impact on business processes.
The Army is looking to revamp its business processes as it continues to embrace data analytics especially as easy-to-use tools from user interfaces to dashboards become more commonplace and interconnected.
David Markowitz, the Army's chief data officer, said the service is working on several pilots for
application programming interfaces (APIs), which help facilitate app creation by allowing various software components to talk to one another, and that learning how they will change business processes is a prime goal.
"The areas we're kind of looking forward to learning from [are] really the business processes that would accompany the API technology," said Markowitz during a virtual FCW event on Feb. 23, such as tagging data for permissions.
"We only have thought of data as owned by a system and permissions…not as data as an enterprise asset," Markowitz said addthing that the Army wants to shift identity management and permissioning to a more enterprise view.
"That's a large transition for us. And it's really required us to kind of rethink how we tag data and how we do identity management. And that's encapsulated a lot in the business processes for how you publish an API. And we really want to use this API pilot to find out kind of how to do that" through the lifecycle of the API.
Markowitz didn't have a timeframe on when the pilots would complete but noted that the API push is part of the Army's larger effort to develop the solid data foundation needed to do analysis and other AI-supported activities. That includes developing the right governance structure and assigning roles and responsibilities to data leaders to manage the lifecycle, providing a data catalog and tools such as analytic platforms, dashboards, and interfaces.
The chief data officer said the military service has promising AI efforts in cyber, logistics, financial management, and intelligence areas but is running into challenge with traditional weapons systems and "warfighting areas where there's a bit of a disconnect between those who are doing the activity, versus those who control …the more bureaucratic processes" some of which are "hard coded" into a system.
Resolving that disconnect and interaction, Markowitz said, is a focus for the next year "to make sure we get faster improvement."