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Remote Sensing and GEOINT

Directions Magazine

DIA Director Flynn: “The Way Forward”

Wednesday, April 16th 2014
By Wes Stroh

Lieutenant General Michael T. Flynn, Director, Defense Intelligence Agency gave the final keynote Tuesday morning at GEOINT 2013*, during which he discussed “DIA’s Way Forward”—summed up:  Innovation, Investment, and Integration.  The way forward is about “bringing together” and he highlighted that this is particularly true for small business.  A wise innovation strategy includes:  start small, scale fast and fail cheap.  Following his keynote, LTG Flynn answer questions in a briefing.  Notable were his responses to the following:
“Given that you told us that DIA’s top secret customers number over 230,000, what’s your perspective on ICITE?” [ICITE--Intelligence Community Information Technology Enterprise-- is the Intelligence Community’s platform for sharing information across organizations and with varied stakeholders.]
“It’s changed a lot” said Flynn.  He continued that obstacles with acceptance of ICITE—no surprise—are of a cultural rather than technological nature.  “A decade of war has taught us that to win together we have to share, and beyond just sharing within the US intelligence community, we have to share with other countries.”
Integrating the cloud architecture has changed determinations of what an analyst needs to be successful.  A recent DIA analysis of over 900 apps showed that more than 700 were rarely used while in contrast a small number were used by thousands of analysts.  As a result, approximately 700 apps were retired resulting in multi-millions of dollars of savings, all accomplished over a period of 60 days.  “It’s forced a review of the contracting process.”  Flynn shared that he’s a business person by training, who learned and now leads an intelligence operation, but now it’s “time to apply business thinking.  A decade of living high on the hog—it’s changed.”
Photo courtesy of USGIF
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