Ask any federal IT leader in the Intelligence Community (IC) where they see opportunities to adopt new and emerging technologies and they’ll likely talk about a drive toward sharing applications and data hosting environments.
It was one of the biggest trends revealed at the 2016 Department of Defense Intelligence Information Systems (DODIIS) Worldwide Conference in Atlanta this month. New opportunities are being created to use big data and analytics technologies across the IC.
The trend partly stems from the IC Information Technology Enterprise (IC ITE), which makes it easier for agencies to share information and increase collaboration. IC ITE provides common services like applications, desktop services, standardized security and access management, and cloud hosting. It’s similar to the DOD’s Joint Information Environment (JIE) concept, which is also in the works.
With the increase of data being generated daily by networks, sensors, and systems, combined with the need for information sharing, these IC ITE features will allow intelligence agencies to use data to its advantage without being overwhelmed. How? Here are three areas being explored:
- Machine learning is going to be at the forefront of the IC as it helps to harness data from intelligence agencies and use it for decision making at the tactical edge. This technology will be key to allowing analysts to spend less time performing search and analysis tasks, and more time interpreting the data and determining new ways to combine it for enhanced analysis.
- Sharing human resources and training information is something senior leaders want to explore in order to identify and retain top talent. IC agencies want to revamp their human resources systems to capitalize on information sharing across the community—taking that data, and putting action behind it to figure out the best HR practices.
- Analyzing cyber threats based on shared information is one way the IC want to counter the low barrier to entry when it comes to cyber attacks from adversaries. The new Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center (CTIIC) will play a role. It’s tasked with integrating data sources to filter cybersecurity threats and helping federal decision makers know when to escalate and prepare to respond. CTIIC will depend heavily on developing a common analytics framework to identify threats and perform trend analysis. The IC also recognizes that cybersecurity cannot be used in isolation—leaders are determined to integrate cybersecurity as part of agency operations and to use data from analysis for decision making and responsive action.
Stephanie Meloni is a Market Intelligence Consultant with immixGroup (an Arrow company), which helps technology companies do business with the government. She specializes in the Defense Department and big data and analytics. She can be reached via email, or connect with her on LinkedIn.