Anyone involved in defense or intelligence operations know how quickly conditions can change. Especially during on-the-ground combat missions, the need for coordinated communication is vital. Technology is supposed to help in that regard. That’s one reason why, in 2012, the DoD launched the Defense Intelligence Information Enterprise (DI2E) framework.
Efforts to gather and analyze intelligence are vast and spread across numerous agencies. As such, there’s a risk that technology becomes a barrier to coordinated communication. Siloed information architectures prevent agencies from interfacing.
DI2E is a way to bring agencies together by breaking down technology silos. It was described as “an agreed to set of building blocks for the Defense Intelligence Community to more efficiently, effectively and securely develop, deliver, and interface their mission-based architectures” by OUSDI Deputy Director for ISR Enterprise Programs Kevin West during a symposium in 2013.
In practice, DI2E is an online network portal that allows government agencies to access software tools for their organization. The tools meet certain standards and web services specifications, and then they’re offered at a centralized cost for participants.
How DI2E Transforms Warfighting
The DI2E framework not only provides a governance and standards framework, it comprises an AppMall, a cloud-based repository of applications that parse real-time data. The great thing about the AppMall is that an application developed by one agency becomes available to others. In 2018, for example, DARPA productized advanced radio-frequency mapping technology for the Marines. The software, named RadioMap is hosted on DI2E, which makes it available to other agencies.
The Evolution of DI2E Depends on Training
DI2E pushes agencies to quickly adopt emerging IT tools. It creates opportunities for innovative application development. It promises to improve interoperability and reduce costs. But to reach those goals, warfighters and developers require training.
Many agencies cannot take full advantage of the software they have access to. The reason is that their teams aren’t trained and/or certified in the products. Attempts to incorporate the software on-the-fly lead to bad configurations that create more problems than they solve.
The good news is that training resources are abundant. If your agency uses DI2E, it’s worth reaching out to your IT partners for help.
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