Jun 24 2024

Bridging the Civilian-Defense Compliance Divide

DOD’s higher-level security framework can make sharing systems tricky, but not impossible.

Civilian agencies teaming up with defense agencies on IT modernization efforts and sharing systems to improve efficiency are experiencing compliance challenges due to the latter’s higher-level security framework.

As a result, civilian agencies may struggle to support the necessary security protocols and data encryption.

Agencies may also encounter process disruptions; if the civilian-side workflows don’t align with those on the defense side, interoperability can be difficult to achieve.

In some cases, communication gaps can also be an issue. With the “acronym soup” that often defines the defense ecosystem, IT teams may not always be speaking the same language as they look to combine their capabilities.

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The Joint Health Information Exchange as a Collaboration Model

To see what a successful collaboration looks like, consider the Department of Defense’s recent partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Together, they’ve created the Joint Health Information Exchange to enable medical providers and military services to share electronic health information more seamlessly. Digital data sharing supports more timely and effective care for patients.

The VA had to enable more stringent security practices, in line with zero-trust expectations, to make data sharing work in compliance with DOD’s requirements. The shared system needed strong data protection controls in place.

This initiative also needed to address potential process hurdles, delivering health information in an accessible way. To that end, the partner agencies crafted a unified login to support streamlined access to the shared system.

As the DOD/VA experience suggests, it takes some finesse to work through the compliance, process and communication hurdles that can arise as agencies combine capabilities.

RELATED: Successful cross-agency collaboration requires breaking down silos.

Enlisting Vendors Smooths the Transition to Shared Systems

CDW Government helps agencies overcome barriers to collaboration by driving effective conversations between partners and with vendors. By getting everyone the same page, our solutions teams and account executives avoid many potential sticking points that frequently delay or derail efforts.

Our experts provide the compliance expertise needed to ensure rigorous security and implement process optimization strategies. Our experts are fluent in both the industry and federal lexicons, which smooths communication and helps define objectives.

The people side of the collaboration equation can’t be neglected either. CDW Government walks agency and IT leaders through projects to reduce complexity and ease the transition to more modern, shared systems.

This article is part of FedTech’s CapITal blog series.

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