Time to Add Governance in Intelligence as Feds Push to Integrate IT

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    Breaching the NSA: Is Your Enterprise Next?

    Here’s some news that may spike sales of tin foil hats: The federal intelligence community recently issued an RFP for a massive IT integration contract.

    This deal combines the government, IT AND the military, so it’s mostly acronyms, but basically, the contract would allow agencies within and without the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) to make purchases toward consolidating IT services, all under the auspices of the DIA contract.

    Oh, and the overall ceiling on this contract is $6 billion. It’s anticipated that it will require multiple vendors, naturally.

    Fierce Government IT reports that the work is part of the Intelligence Community Information Technology Enterprise consolidation strategy. The DIA issued the request for proposal last week, and a synopsis and a long list of related documents can be viewed online.

    This hasn’t generated a ton of news buzz, possibly because the idea itself goes back to last year, when Federal Times covered the DIA’s request for an Enhanced Solutions for the Information Technology Enterprise (E-SITE – of course).

    Still, I find it curious—particularly in light of the slow, but building, backlash against government spying. Just this week, the Business Standard reported that NSA spying could cost the U.S. cloud computing industry billions. Analysts’ predictions on the total loss vary, but range from $35 billion within two years to as much as $180 billion, or 25 percent of the industry’s revenue.

    The DIA’s consolidation project RFP involves a range of IT services, including architecture, software development, mobile device support and even satellite communications support. What speaks more to integration, though, is that awardees will need expertise such as data migration, “understanding the interrelationships of technologies,” and elastic cloud computing, FierceGovernmentIT reports.

    Normally, integration is a good thing, and integrating intelligence data is certainly a good idea. But as the data experts keep telling us, you must first have the right data governance in place. The NSA spying fiasco speaks volumes about a need for re-evaluating how the government handles its data right now.

    Until then, it’s hard to get too excited about an integration effort that could make the situation worse.

    Loraine Lawson
    Loraine Lawson
    Loraine Lawson is a freelance writer specializing in technology and business issues, including integration, health care IT, cloud and Big Data.

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