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The Army will a release a new data strategy within the next 60 days that will set expectations for industry’s accountability in protecting critical information and detail how officials will look to make data more usable, the service’s chief information officer said Wednesday.

Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford told attendees at an AFCEA cyber conference in Baltimore the new strategy accounts for new data considerations associated with continued migration to cloud computing and a greater need to ensure that big data meets interoperability considerations across the force.

Army CIO Lt. Gen. Bruce T. Crawford Photo: U.S. Army.

“Our data’s got to be visible. It’s got to be usable, interoperable. It’s got to be secure. So you’ve got to have a plan that enforces accountability for those that are our developing capability right now,” Crawford told reporters following his discussion at the conference. “This is going to be one of the foundational documents for the Army, given the exponential growth in data”

The new strategy is intended to facilitate an “open data initiative” that takes advantage of leveraging new capabilities for maximizing new data collection capabilities, according to Crawford.

“It’s got to go beyond just a strategy. Implementation and then resourcing that implementation is going to be our focus. This will be one of our top IT-related reform efforts,” Crawford said.

Crawford also detailed plans for the Army’s new Enterprise IT as a service modernization initiative which will start with three pilot programs in FY ’19 followed by another five in FY ’20.

Future initiatives to shift the Army’s enterprise IT modernization effort toward bringing in contractor owned and operated technology will cover both small and large installations, and potentially combat training centers, according to Crawford.

The first of 15 total pilot programs is focused on bringing IT services to the Futures Command headquarters in Austin, Texas (Defense Daily, April 4).

“When it comes to Enterprise IT as a Service, what the Army’s focused on is power projection platforms, where it projects power forward around the globe. That’s what we’re going to be focusing our attention over the next 24 to 36 months,” Crawford told reporters. “This allows us to develop capability and learn as an institution how to do this. I think this has generated quite a bit of excite across the industry.”