DoDIIS 2019: Reference Architecture Gives
Intelligence Agencies Flexibility
IC CIO John Sherman calls IC ITE a benefit for agencies
who want to ensure their specific IT needs are met.
by Elizabeth Neus
A difficult pivot away from a long-favored IT modernization strategy enabled the intelligence community to collaborate more efficiently and let individual agencies tailor technology to fit their needs, says IC CIO John Sherman. The key, he said, was the IC’s work on developing reference architecture that gives the 17 agencies in the community a template from which to design their own IT. “ This has truly been a case of us needing to evolve or losing the relevance and applicability of what we’ve built,” Sherman said at the 19th DoDIIS Worldwide Conference Tuesday in Tampa, Fla. “That’s not going to happen on any of our watches.”
One-Size-Fits-All IT No Longer Fits Intelligence Community
The toughest IT job the IC has confronted in recent years, according to Sherman, was to discard the IC Desktop Enterprise project, which would have created a common desktop across the community. “It was a noble effort, but it was not meant to be,” he said. “It was among the hardest decisions any of us ever had to make.” But once the decision was made, he said, that opened up a new way to look at IC ITE — the IC IT Enterprise strategy. “No longer would we be focused on one-size-fits-all solutions, but rather we could move to a more federated approach that insured interoperability without forcing agencies to compromise their particular requirements,” he said.