On Wednesday, the Potomac Officers Club hosted its Air Force IT Modernization and Digital Transformation Forum, which gathered notable leaders from the U.S. Air Force and industry who spoke on leveraging public-private partnerships to accelerate infrastructure modernization, cybersecurity and other digital transformation initiatives during an era of significant digital expansion across the Air and Space Forces.
Winston Beauchamp, deputy chief information officer for the Department of the Air Force, delivered the forum’s opening keynote address, which focused on the key challenges, achievements and growth opportunities surrounding enterprise information technology modernization efforts within the Air Force as the service branch works to deliver on the Department of Defense’s central Joint All-Domain Command and Control initiative.
Following an introduction by CACI’s enterprise IT Program Manager, Kenneth Gaines, who served as a moderator for the forum, Beauchamp began his keynote speech to share his insights regarding the Department of the Air Force’s push for enterprise-wide digital transformation, how these efforts impact multiple operational factors and the implications these changes have on the future of the Air Force.
If you missed Wednesday’s event, visit PotomacOfficersClub.com to watch the AF IT Modernization and Digital Transformation Forum on-demand.
In his insightful keynote, Beauchamp identified speed, resource availability and interoperability as a few of the considerable obstacles the Department of the Air Force is working to overcome as its digital footprint expands.
As the Air Force shifts its procurement strategies to reflect an increasing need for enterprise IT services, Beauchamp said it must also optimize its integration process to ensure a seamless, rapid transition that can match the speed of innovation.
“A constraint at this point is not ideas for new policy to better align IT procurement under an integrated enterprise approach, but the pace at which we can write and coordinate that new policy through the DAF,” Beauchamp stated.
Beauchamp also highlighted the potential security risks and critical data exchange speed improvements that the Air Force is working to address through its Advanced Battle Management System program, which aims to create a next-generation command and control system in response to DOD’s JADC2 concept.
“Adversaries have gotten adept at exploiting seams in diverse architectures,” Beauchamp warned. “We need to flatten the attack surface we present to the world while eliminating barriers to data exchange at machine speed in order to deliver on the promise of JADC2.”
To successfully deliver on the Air Force’s ABMS and JADC2 goals, Beauchamp said the branch must focus more on interoperability between disparate systems.
“What we’re finding is that more and more elements of our architecture are interconnected in ways that we potentially could not have imagined at the times they were built,” Beauchamp said.
He continued, “What that calls for, in my mind, is a new layer of enterprise engineering talent that looks to establish interoperability standards for systems that maybe are not envisioned to talk to each other, but probably will need to in the future.”
Beauchamp noted that the Air Force must remain forward-thinking and future-focused to anticipate and respond to these evolving infrastructural needs and better equip the nation’s airmen and warfighters for the future of battle.
To hear Beauchamp’s full keynote address, including how the Air Force is working to resourcefully adapt to new, strict cybersecurity standards and requirements, please visit PotomacOfficersClub.com, where you can view the AF IT Modernization and Digital Transformation Forum on-demand now.
On Jan. 19, the Potomac Officers Club will host its 8th Annual Defense Research and Development Summit, during which public and private sector officials will join in discussion on the innovation priorities, advanced technologies and cutting-edge capabilities shaping the Department of Defense’s strategy today as the nation works to remain competitive on a global scale.
Heidi Shyu, under secretary of defense for research and engineering at the Department of Defense, will deliver the summit’s opening keynote address and discuss how she’s currently working to ensure the technological superiority of the U.S. military as the DOD enterprise’s R&D needs continue to shift in response to rapid developments in the defense landscape.