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Q&A: David Wennergren, DoD Deputy CIO

Department of Defense deputy CIO David Wennergren addresses information stovepipes, SOA, procurement, cybersecurity, and cloud computing.
Wennergren: That's part of the work of standing it up. There's great power in bringing together the defensive and offensive capabilities of information management, but clearly Cyber Command has to be part of the effective governance structure we have in place with the CIO and with operational commanders. You can't just think of security in a vacuum anymore.

InformationWeek: You recently wrote a memo that seemed to open up the possibilities for open source in the military a bit more. Walk me through your thinking on open source.

Wennergren: It was sort of a reiteration of policies we already had in place, but it seemed that there was still a lot of misperception about open source. We wanted to help people understand that open source software could be a potential answer. There's value in open source. More and more you've got to be able to look toward the power of peer review, both for open source stuff and not-open source stuff, to bring more scrutiny and attention to the software. Don't avoid good solutions that will help you move with speed and agility.

InformationWeek: What's your take on real, robust enterprise search that has role-based security built into it?

Wennergren: Content discovery is already one of our enterprise services, but there's a lot more work that has to happen. Data has to be exposed so it can be visible and found, and you have to have services like federated search available, and then you have to make some advances to what I might call the enterprise user.

We live in a world where the infrastructure needs to be joined. An Army guy needs to be able to get on a Navy computer and find Air Force stuff. It's about moving into a different way of using our enterprise infrastructure, using the technology we already have like our access cards to create and use attributes about me -- the clearance I have, the kind of work I'm doing, where I work -- that allow me to see information.