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Digital Modernization

DOD Modernization Requires Coordination Among Components, Official Says

Digital modernization

DOD Modernization Requires Coordination Among Components, Official Says

The Department of Defense must refresh the communication and information technologies it relies on for intelligence and decision-making, a senior technology official said.

Cynthia Mendoza, deputy chief information officer for special access program IT, said all DOD components must have a common understanding of the department’s technological goals before they can move on with enterprise-wide modernization, Defense .gov reported.

“To confront these technology challenges, we must be united across the DOD in how we are scaling and operationalizing the IT infrastructure and securing it to provide for the best advanced technologies,” Mendoza added.

Lawmakers have previously called on the Pentagon to ditch legacy systems that are holding back its adoption of newer technologies.

Mendoza also highlighted the potential of taking advantage of past advancements in technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, 5G networks and quantum computing.

She said the United States must outpace its adversaries in the areas such as cybersecurity, AI, machine learning and supply chain management.

Collaboration with stakeholders is foundational to the Pentagon’s modernization journey, Mendoza said, pointing to the department’s partners in the Intelligence Community, the international community, the private sector, academia and Congress.

She said the DOD must be clear about its technological ambitions and help its stakeholders understand exactly what it wants to achieve.

The department can also learn from the best practices that its partners are already using, eliminating the need to “reinvent the wheel,” Mendoza said. 

She said the DOD can take advantage of existing approaches in reference architecture frameworks, service-centric and platform-based environments and common operating principles. 

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