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DoD seeking ways around mobility hurdles

May. 6, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
By | AMBER CORRIN   |   Comments
ISR Conf2014
John Hickey, Program Manager, DoD Mobility, Defense Information Systems Agency, says mobility's challenges are being steadily overcome (Rob Curtis/Staff)


Funding shortages, long acquisition cycles and slow certification processes are among the chief hurdles in getting to Defense Department mobility, and officials are looking for ways to break through them.

The Defense Information Systems Agency is spearheading many of the Pentagon’s mobility efforts, including several pilot programs and the DoD-wide mobile device management (MDM) program. DISA is in the process of transitioning mobile users, including about 2,000 so far migrated from the MDM pilot to the now-formalized program that uses MobileIron. Soon the program also will support Samsung’s Knox operating system as well.

Overall, DISA is building toward 100,000 users under its unclassified mobile capability, a transition being completed in 25,000-account increments, according to John Hickey, DISA program manager for DoD mobility.

Hickey, speaking at the C4ISR & Networks Conference in Arlington, Va., on May 5, emphasized that the specific device involved is not really the primary issue.

“A lot of people think it’s about the device. The device is a large part of it…but it’s not about the device, it’s really about the information,” Hickey said. “How do we enable [warfighters] with these devices?”

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Security is another area where defense leaders are looking beyond the conventional view and instead taking a new tack that many hope will shift the status quo.

“We’re not talking about securing devices – we’re talking about securing the environment that protects data at rest and data in transit,” said Michael McCarthy, director of operations and program manager at Army Brigade Modernization Command.

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