The Intelligence Community’s (IC) next decade will be characterized by the word “transformation.” As the IC moves from the Era of Automation into the Era of Information, it will become a collaborative enterprise. Current emphasis on data inputs will become more focused on adaptive outcomes. High-volume efforts will become specialized expertise integrated across the enterprise into insightful solutions. Changes to the IC’s concept of operations, technology, culture, governance, and mission assurance will be not only dramatic, but also necessary to match the myriad threats facing our nation and the globe.

Leilani DeWitt, former chief of the Sensemaking and Alerting Group with the National Reconnaissance Office’s (NRO) Ground Enterprise Directorate (GED), recently wrote “Challenges and Opportunities in Building a Sustained, Adaptively-Linked Integrated Intelligence Enterprise: Historic Perspective” as a follow on to insightful writing by Dr. Pete Rustan, founding director of the GED.

Rustan wrote “Building an Integrated Intelligence Network: Challenges and Opportunities” in 2008 as he stood up the directorate and achieved automated data processing efficiencies during the Era of Automation. Non-linear processing reinforced through extensible technical architectures such as GED’s Future Ground Architecture (FGA) introduced by Rustan’s successor, Michael Hale, now trigger the move from the Era of Automation into the Era of Information. Conversations about the move from linear policy to non-linear, the change from a data focus to a mission focus, and the shift from competitive organizational solutions to collaborative enterprise solutions all provide evidence that this transformation has already begun.

DeWitt’s follow on article was written as a historical study, to put into perspective those conversations occurring now, as well as those yet to come, and to illuminate the path that history reveals will transform the Intelligence Community into a sustained, adaptively-linked integrated intelligence enterprise—an outcome characterizing the Era of Information.

The author has experienced and researched history, facts, concepts, and theory associated with transformations of technology-based industries both during her public service tenure and throughout her diverse career spanning the private, academic, and public sectors.

“I hope this historic perspective spurs the USGIF audience to increase productive conversation and insightful collaboration to accelerate focused efforts toward an Information Era-adaptive collaborative enterprise ready for the increasingly wickedness of challenges forecast against this nation, its generations to come, and the principles of liberty and human dignity it protects,” DeWitt said.

Download DeWitt’s full article here.

Editor’s Note: The thoughts, ideas, forecasts, and concepts provided throughout DeWitt’s article are hers alone and do not represent opinion of any agency or organization.

Photo Credit: United Launch Alliance

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