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DOD Deputy CIO Pledges 4 Focus Areas for 2024

Cloud modernization, zero trust cybersecurity and 5G connectivity are at the top of the priority list for the Department of Defense’s Office of the Chief Information Officer in 2024.

DOD Principal Deputy CIO and 2024 Wash100 Award winner Leslie Beavers laid out several of the office’s key focus areas at a recent Arlington, Virginia conference, as reported by MeriTalk on Friday.

  1. Cloud

Beavers said she’s keen on “taking cloud to the next level,” which includes migrating systems operating at the “edge,” or remote locations at high-frequency/low-bandwidth. It also means working with partners and allies outside the continental U.S. — or OCONUS — via the Stratus private cloud service.

Beavers will be a speaker at the April 17th CIO Summit, from Potomac Officers Club. Register to attend the event — which will also feature Intelligence Community CIO Avril Haines — to gain exclusive networking opportunities and a chance to engage in Q&A with these vaunted leaders.

  1. 5G

Acknowledging that the commercial space has already achieved widespread 5G connectivity, Beavers says her office intends to get 5G to remote environments by 2028.

“We’re also looking at, ‘how do we figure out how to make the open radio access network in 5G work,’ which proves to be actually much harder than I thought,” she noted. “And then there’s the dynamic spectrum sharing piece that we really have to get after to make more spectrum available to the commercial world.”

  1. Zero trust

The DOD has accrued close to 40 zero trust execution plans for its many components. Now, it’s time to align and streamline them, Beavers said, though they’re being held up by the Congressional continuing resolution’s hold on new cash flow. They need funds to be able to go out and procure the “products and services that are available in the marketplace to put together the offerings that will help us get to zero trust.”

Regardless, she and the DOD at large are reportedly dead-set on accomplishing a zero trust state by 2027, in order to be prepared for cyber threats from adversaries.

  1. Software supply chain security

“Software supply chain security is one of the areas that I worry about…DevSecOps goes a long way as we build out the software development factories and the capabilities around developing software securely.”

To learn how industry can partner with the DOD on these priority areas, register to attend the 5th Annual CIO Summit, hosted on April 17 by Potomac Officers Club. The event is a yearly high point for many GovCon executives and gives unparalleled access to some of the top government CIOs.

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