The senior adviser to the Defense Department's chief data officer says the military is beginning to increasingly embrace data sharing as officials work toward a goal of faster information transfers to help enable Joint All-Domain Command and Control.
Speaking at a C4ISRNet event today, John Turner attributed the shift partially to the creation of data leadership and CDO roles across DOD components, saying those efforts were “really helping bolster that change.”
“I think the culture of data hoarding is absolutely on the way out, and we’re seeing incredible responsiveness as increasingly data is being shared across components for various use cases,” he said.
In a recent top-level reorganization, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks announced the creation of a new chief digital and artificial intelligence officer to bolster alignment across the department and spotlight the importance of the military’s data, analytics and AI efforts.
The office’s standup and the subsequent melding of previously segmented organizations within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Turner said, allows for alignment across DOD’s practices and boosts the speed at which officials can act.
Beyond that, he said the process has taught DOD “that we’ve got an opportunity to align our strategy on how to drive change across the department, how to lead and oversee the adoption of data analytics and AI.”
In particular, he said the effort has led officials to reflect on which pieces need to be centrally managed and invested in “versus where do we need to accept that there should rightfully be a healthy amount of diversity in our capabilities and approaches.”
“The opportunity to have the coherent architecture and explanation of that across the force is really the potential we have now,” Turner noted.
The moves come as DOD continues working toward the creation of a military internet of things in JADC2. One key measure of success for that effort, Turner said, is the speed of data sharing across components.
Still, he cited the complexities of data sharing, ranging from security and privacy issues to “whether the data is actually fit for purpose for the [customer’s] intended use.”
“I don’t think that success in JADC2 is going to be the realization of a perfect architecture that is predetermined, fixed in stone and then delivered,” Turner said. “The success from the data perspective is the speed at which we can close the loop between the producer and consumer and share data faster.”