Defense Information Systems Agency director Lt. Gen. Carroll Pollett hits a number of keywords -- agility, reliability, security -- when addressing his vision for the combat support agency, which provides IT and communications support to the rest of the military.
With three stars emblazoning his uniform, Pollett is one of the highest-ranking officers in military IT. His agency has an $8.3 billion budget and more than 7,000 employees -- civilians as well as soldiers from all branches of military -- spread out over 25 states and 7 countries, with the largest concentration right around Washington, D.C.
Currently, DISA is in the midst of one of the biggest shifts in its recent history, one which will see 4,300 workers move next year from DISA's current headquarters in Arlington, Va., 25 miles northeast to Fort Meade, Md., as part of the military's Base Realignment and Closure process. In an interview last Wednesday after giving a speech at DISA's Customer and Partnership Conference, Pollett said that he's told DISA's workforce that the move is his number one priority.
"We've got to look at this as an opportunity," he said. "People will say it's only 25 miles, but most people live south or west of the Beltway, and that can quickly [become a problem]." To make the move easier, the government is helping to pay costs for both civilians and members of the military.
In terms of opportunity, in concert with the move, DISA also is making changes to the way it trains employees, for example creating an expanded internship program that includes opportunities for older employees, adding incentives, and doing more outreach to local schools like the University of Maryland.
The pace of technological change is an opportunity for DISA, which has become one of the government leaders in cloud computing, to continue improving its standing as a support agency for the rest of the military. "We've got to be agile and flexible," Pollett said. "The challenge is this rapid change, this asymmetric environment, and trying to keep up with acquisition to give technology to the field so they have the latest tech to work with."
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security EnterpriseTo learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
2017 State of IT ReportIn today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.