Dec 08 2023

DoDIIS 2023: IT Community Looks to Leverage New Technologies for Major Events

The annual conference will focus on ways to adapt quickly to a changing world.

Now in its 20th year, the Department of Defense Intelligence Information System Worldwide Conference is the largest IT gathering focused on the defense and intelligence communities.

DoDIIS, sponsored by the Defense Intelligence Agency, takes place in Portland, Ore., from Dec. 12-14. This year’s theme — Chaos to Clarity: Leveraging Emerging Technologies — highlights the ways these agencies have used technology to respond to unexpected, world-changing events.

“We have to be able to respond quickly in times of chaos,” says DIA CIO Douglas Cossa. “You’ve got to be able to understand the base infrastructure that you have and how it works, but also how you can quickly evolve and adapt it as well.”

“When we go to these conferences, it’s not just getting together to talk about the next big IT trend,” he adds. “It’s looking at what is actually out there that I could include as part of my base infrastructure and spin up quickly in the time of a crisis.”

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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.

LEARN MORE: How to facilitate digital modernization without disrupting operations.

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.”

EXPLORE: What the DOD and the intelligence community need from industry to continue innovation.

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.

During the conference, follow us on X (former Twitter) @FedTechMagazine, contribute to the social media conversation and see what others are talking about by using the hashtag #DoDIIS23.

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.

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