Tech Innovation Springs from Events Large and Small
The conference comes at a time when the intelligence community is on high alert, tracking events in Ukraine and the Israel/Palestine conflict. “It’s those sorts of crises that really generate innovation,” says Cossa.
For instance, he says, the top-secret network that evolved into today’s Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability sprang from the 1990-1991 Gulf War, when the Pentagon needed to transmit data and video and conduct videoconferences securely at a time when the internet as we know it did not exist and access was still via dial-up.
Sometimes, the innovation comes from unexpected, personal directions. Telephone translation services for the deaf and hard of hearing were not accessible inside DIA’s secure offices — until one deaf employee missed a doctor’s call to come to the hospital because their parent was dying.
“That hit home for a lot of people,” Cossa says. So, DIA developed a secure system where deaf and hard-of-hearing employees could use their translation services from within a sensitive compartmented information facility.
“And that snowballed into a whole new line of business, not just for DIA, but the entire intelligence community, for developing technologies for those with disabilities who need reasonable accommodations,” he says.
“That’s just one example of how times of chaos can really spawn innovation. And that’s the theme of the conference.”
Top Intelligence Community Officials Will Speak at DoDIIS
Speakers at the conference include Adele Merritt, CIO for the intelligence community; Lt. Gen. Dimitri Henry, the intelligence director for the Joint Chiefs of Staff; DIA director Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier; and Lt. Gen. Kevin Kennedy, commander of the Sixteenth Air Force (Air Force Cyber).
Breakout panels will cover topics including updates on the journey to zero trust, delivering cloud services to the edge and securing hybrid cloud environments.
FedTech staff will be in Portland to cover the conference through articles and social media, delivering insights, information and best practices from top intelligence IT experts. Bookmark this page and follow our coverage.