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Talking stops, work starts on network consolidation

After a year of planning, the intelligence community has started the vast information technology project that the community is counting on to prevent deep cuts to collections and analysis in future years.

DIA's Mike Mestrovich is chief architect for the community's forthcoming common computing desktop.

Mike Mestrovich, DIA's senior technology officer for IT solutions, says the shift from talking to doing was made in mid August.

"We're now in effectively the implementation phase," he tells Deep Dive. "Service providers are now building out the various different components of that IT architecture, with an expected IOC [initial operating capability] date for the IT enterprise of the 31st of March 2013."

He's referring to development of the Intelligence Community Information Technology Enterprise, or ICITE (say eyesight).

Earlier this year, the intel agencies reached agreements about who would do what under the effort, whose basic outline and goals are unclassified.

CIA and NSA – two of the service providers referenced by Mestrovich – will shift information from fixed data centers into data storage clouds. DIA and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency are working jointly on a common desktop operating system for intelligence workers to be rolled out in phases. Mestrovich is chief architect for it. NSA is creating an Apps Mall that will incorporate apps stores of the various agencies.

No public dollar figure has been put on these changes, but they are supposed to generate enough savings later to prevent cuts to collections and analysis as the community throttles back its overall spending over the next decade.

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