Outgoing Navy CIO Rob Carey is urging the military arm's IT department to continue to evolve its information technology (IT) strategy to keep pace with modernization and current cyber trends.
In a blog post on his last day before leaving to join the service's Fleet Cyber Command, Carey outlined some of the changes the Navy has seen -- both in technology trends and within the department -- in his nearly four years as Navy CIO. He also urged the military arm to continue to embrace organizational, technological and educational advancements to stay on top of the IT game.
"Change in cyberspace has accelerated and shows no signs of slowing down," he wrote. "We will need to stay abreast of this continued pace of change if we are to remain ahead of our adversaries."
On the organizational front, Carey said structural changes the Department of Defense (DoD) has made to the Navy's IT department are opportunities for its members to "seize the day" and create a more efficient organization that is better equipped to achieve its tasks. "These changes are necessary if we are to continue to ensure the nation's security and maintain our military's global pre-eminence," he said.
Carey also urged the department to think more globally in the context of cyberspace and not merely consider department needs when it comes to IT. He said that the distinction that used to be made between information management/information technology and cyberspace is no longer valid, and that Navy IT professionals must think outside of that box to continue to securely move information around the world.
"The 'network' serves all users, moving email and video and enabling financial transactions and more purposeful military related tasks," he wrote. "For that reason it must be considered differently and not solely for a unique purpose."
The outgoing CIO also advised his staff to "remain a learning organization," advice that may require them to educate military leaders about the relevance of cyberspace to the Navy's mission. "We must stay sharp," Carey wrote. "Technology will keep advancing, and so must our skills."
During his nearly four years as Navy CIO, Carey worked to modernize the Navy's IT network. He leaves as the department as it prepares to transition from the Navy Marines Corps Intranet (NMCI), an existing intranet, to the Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN).
The Navy also is currently working on a project called the Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprises Services (CANES) to replace legacy systems and outdated computers with a modern, common IP network across Navy ships and onshore operations centers.
Cybersecurity also has been a chief concern of Carey's, as it is across all the federal government's military and intelligence agencies. One of his final acts as CIO was to establish some ground rules so the Navy's IT staff are well equipped to handle cybersecurity issues.