During GovCon Wire Events’ Data Innovation Forum, luminaries in the public and private data innovation space will discuss the strategic importance of information technology (IT) and data management in national security.
As the role of information technology in the federal government continues to grow, public and private leaders must be conscious of the opportunities and challenges in data innovation to ensure the federal government’s IT infrastructure and data management systems remain agile, robust and modern.
David Spirk, a 2021 Wash100 Award recipient and chief data officer of the Department of Defense (DOD), will deliver the Forum’s keynote address. Gregg Melanson, EVP and GM of Illuminate Mission Solutions, will introduce Spirk before his address.
The DOD is committed to becoming a highly data-centric organization with cutting-edge IT and data management systems to support its many organizations and agencies. David Spirk as chief data officer of the DOD is leading those efforts to accelerate data innovation throughout the Department.
Spirk told FedScoop in April that his efforts have strong support from the most senior leaders in the DOD, which is helping to propel the Department toward highly efficient and secure data practices.
“With the direct support of Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks and her senior support team, not only are we on the path, but the expectation is we will accelerate,” Spirk said at FedScoop’s IT Modernization Summit.
One of Spirk’s primary aims is to eliminate the idea that the DOD will have a common data standard, a one-size-fits-all approach to what type of data the Department uses. He is instead pushing for a federated data ecosystem that enables data officials to use an open-data-standard data architecture that facilitates interoperability between the many data use-cases specific to different mission areas.
On May 10th, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks released a memo with five data decrees. The decrees were developed by Spirk and his team and will assist the DOD to actualize its enterprise-wide data strategy released in October of 2020.
In the memo, Hicks states, “Transforming the Department of Defense to a data-centric organization is critical to improving performance and creating decision advantage at all echelons from the battlespace to the board room, ensuring U.S. competitive advantage.”
The first decree calls on the DOD to “Maximize data sharing and rights for data use: all DOD data is an enterprise resource.” The second requires DOD officials to “Publish data assets in the DOD federated data catalog along with common interface specifications.”
The third requires DOD officials to “Use automated data interfaces that are externally accessible and machine-readable; ensure interfaces use industry-standard, non-proprietary, preferably open-source, technologies, protocols, and payloads.”
The last two decrees call on the DOD to “Store data in a manner that is platform and environment-agnostic, uncoupled from hardware or software dependencies” and “Implement industry best practices for secure authentication, access management, encryption, monitoring, and protection of data at rest, in transit, and in use.”
The memo also orders relevant components to take part in the DOD Data Council and work to fill interoperability gaps for joint warfighting capabilities.
The Forum will also host an expert panel moderated by Randy Soper of Illuminate Mission Solutions, featuring Chris Borneman of Software AG Government Solutions, Thomas Sasala of the U.S. Navy, Ron Bewtra of the Department of Justice, Eileen Vidrine of the U.S. Air Force and Dr. David Markowitz of the U.S. Army.
Join GovConWire’s Data Innovation Forum to hear notable federal and industry leaders further discuss the DOD’s defense data strategy, analytics, artificial intelligence and emerging data processing technologies.