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Defense

Business ops plan stresses Navy's modernization focus

The Navy is focused on modernizing aging legacy enterprise systems with an emphasis on cloud and better cybersecurity, according to the service's new business operations plan released Oct. 24.

The Navy expects to publish a Marines Corps cloud strategy and develop a framework for migrations in the first quarter of fiscal 2019. The Navy will also update its "cloud first" policy at the same time.

"Ultimately, [the Navy is] looking to drive as many solutions as we can to a DOD cloud level but still allowing the individual services to proceed with their existing cloud strategies," Navy Undersecretary Thomas Modly told reporters on an Oct. 24 conference call.

"We're just sort of opening that up now, so there's still a lot of questions of where the ultimate strategy is going to lead us."

According to the document, the Navy plans to use cloud infrastructure to consolidate data centers and will build integrated training and personnel development systems.

Modly added that the service's cloud strategies would feed into that of the Defense Department's and wouldn't change that much as a result but "become more defined and more specific and how we integrate with the DOD cloud layer."

The Navy also plans to finish a revised technical refresh plan to replace aged enterprise networks ashore and permit high-speed connections in the first quarter of fiscal 2019. Documenting end-to-end business processes and conduct, as well as defining target system architecture in enterprise business systems are expected to be done by the end of the fiscal year, according to the document.

The Navy's plan is the first that is closely tied to the National Defense Strategy. Modly said the plan looks at milestones in six month increments and quantifies metrics along the way to ensure accountability. The Navy's progress against its milestones will be assessed every three months, adjusted as needed and updated every six months with a formal reconfiguration every year.

As it stands now, the business transformation plan's activities are already budgeted, and Modly said he is hopeful its execution will "free up funds to do other things and invest in the warfighting mission of the department" particularly when it comes to modernizing the networks.

"As we sort of narrow down our business systems for example, driving costs out of the maintenance of those business systems, by migrating them to more modern and consolidated systems, by emphasizing the use of data more for analytical capability -- we think that we can actually save the department money," he said.

Modly said the amount of savings isn't yet known but will be determined in the next phase of the plan where efficiencies quantified.

About the Author

Lauren C. Williams is a staff writer at FCW covering defense and cybersecurity.

Prior to joining FCW, Williams was the tech reporter for ThinkProgress, where she covered everything from internet culture to national security issues. In past positions, Williams covered health care, politics and crime for various publications, including The Seattle Times.

Williams graduated with a master's in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a bachelor's in dietetics from the University of Delaware. She can be contacted at lwilliams@fcw.com, or follow her on Twitter @lalaurenista.

Click here for previous articles by Wiliams.


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