Navy must get creative -- and critical -- to be efficient

Reaching efficiency goals will require innovation and tough analysis, Navy CIO says

Getting to a 25 percent reduction in data standards and other ambitious efficiency goals for the Navy and Defense Department will require innovative thinking and serious scrutiny, including shrewd cost comparisons, according to Navy CIO Terry Halvorsen.

“You don’t get to 25 percent by doing what you’re doing more efficiently. You can’t get there. You have to change the model,” Halvorsen said June 9 at the AFCEA Navy IT Day conference in Vienna, Va.

Achieving real efficiencies also requires tough decision-making, he said.

“It’s the hardest thing to do, [deciding], ‘What are we going to not do anymore? What will be cut?’” Halvorsen said.

Among the options the Navy is considering: commercialized e-mail and public-private data storage ventures, he said.

“If our security standards can be met ... maybe [commercial services] are options,” he said.

“Are we there yet?" he asked. "No, but it is explorable. We don’t know if we can do it – we’ll have to see if we can, and we’ll have to better understand the trade space [and costs]. There ought to be a way for that partnership,” Halvorsen added.

However, the Navy will be cautious in its decision-making – especially when it comes to the joint enterprise e-mail effort underway between the Army and the Defense Information Systems Agency, according to the CIO.

“DISA and the Army are in the middle of implementing an enterprise e-mail capability that we’ve already enjoyed at the Navy and Marine Corps [with the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet]. If it gets to the point where it’s less money, we’ll be there,” Halvorsen said.

He stressed that the Navy is exploring all available options, including those outside the DISA-Army enterprise e-mail project, but for now it appears the Navy will be sticking with the status quo.

“Does NMCI/NGEN (the Next Generation Enterprise Network) have problems? Yes, it does, but it’s up 98 percent of the time and serves 800,000-plus people,” Halvorsen said.

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a staff writer covering military networks for Defense Systems.

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