Mobility will be central to DISA's strategies in coming years, not an afterthought or optional accessory, according to the agency's CIO. (USMC)
As the Defense Information Systems Agency rolls out shared-service offerings under its unified capabilities (UC) effort, officials say they want to integrate mobility into applications rather than focus separately on smart phones and devices.
DISA has helped lead Defense Department efforts in mobility in recent years, including with last year’s contract award for a mobile device management (MDM) solution that effectively launched the agency as DoD’s de factor broker for MDM services. With that contract potentially coming up for re-bid in the coming months, and with DISA also preparing its UC acquisition strategy, officials are looking closely at where mobility fits in with everything else in development.
“From a mobility perspective, we’re not tying it to UC. What we're trying to say is we’re doing mobility and basically for all of our capabilities we’re looking at how to leverage a mobile instance of that capability, whether it’s a specific capability within an existing feature we have today or it’s an icon on a mobile device to do collaboration,” Dave Bennett, DISA CIO, said Aug. 20 at the agency’s Forecast to Industry at Fort Meade, Maryland. “So we are trying to move away from mobility being the exception or the oddity and moving toward mobility being central to everything we do.”
That focus on the centrality of mobility is being communicated down the ranks to those closer to ground operations, he said.
“The guidance that’s been going out to the program managers says that if you’re developing capabilities for end users, mobility needs to be part of your mechanism,” he said. “As [mobility] gets more and more mature, whether the platform is android or iPhone … [the question] is, how are you going to instantiate that capability in the mobile format?”