Department of Defense

Funding IT Infrastructure and IA

The information technology (IT) infrastructure, sometimes referred to as the Global Information Grid (GIG) - specifically servers, networks, network area storage, and information transport/transmission costs, and information assurance (IA) costs, should be funded at the DoD level at all DoD facilities and support activities for use by all DoD programs at that facility. Disallow the expense for the IT/IA costs at the individual program level (or hidden as a tax on the labor rate). Shift the responsibility and remove the unecessary burden of charging individual programs for costs incurred. It would also eliminate the cost from the program's bottom line - an expense that no one wants to incur but a cost savings which all programs would hope to leverage once installed. (The cost savings alone of stopping the discussions over who should incur the initial costs would be substantial.) This would also drive the IA implementation at the command management level and remove the unnecessary burden on programs to groom SMEs to implement these policies for each program - sometimes with varied interpretations. These expenses, policies and rules could be standardized and enforced at the command level.

IT / IA have become one of the most burdensome expenses for individual programs. While absolutely necessary, every discussion on the subject invariably ends in the assertion that the costs incurred and decision making are being negotiated and managed at the wrong level. The GIG requirements issued 10 years ago outlined the tremendous need - which still exists - but left the implementation in the wrong court. Once the GIG IT/IA infrastructure is fully established for RDT&E alone, the significant cost savings to each program will be realized by the reduction of the use of media, media security, secure shipping, travel costs, testing costs, and numerous other savings.

Just ask DoD PMs how this DoD level IT/IA would realize cost savings and I believe you would find it significant.

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Idea No. 5111