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With the U.S. Army fighting two wars and supporting hundreds of thousands of soldiers around the world, it needs one of the world's largest and most complex IT organizations, with a $10 billion annual IT budget.
Directing this IT enterprise as CIO is Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Sorenson, a West Point grad whose consolidation initiatives are helping the Army get a better grasp of a sprawling IT infrastructure and whose innovation mandates are bringing new perspectives to Army IT.
The Army's biggest IT project is the Global Network Enterprise Construct, aimed at giving soldiers a consistent IT environment as they move from base to battlefield, and giving Army IT more management control over its network.
For example, soldiers will get a single digital identity. Today, it can be one for their home base, another for a training site, and a third for the battlefield. Army IT, meanwhile, will re-architect its networks and data centers, including consolidating into regional computing centers.
Sorenson recently put a moratorium on server purchases, as the Army plans its IT consolidation and considers cloud computing. It's building a demo private cloud with IBM, and it's considering turning e-mail, app support software, and staff awards into shared cloud services.
Sorenson's team also recently ran Apps For The Army, offering cash prizes to soldiers and Army civilians who create applications that prove valuable. It sparked development of 53 apps in 75 days, many for mobile platforms, of which Sorenson also is a champion. -J. Nicholas Hoover