Welcome to the Enterprise

By Sorenson, Jeffrey A. | Army, October 2010 | Go to article overview

Welcome to the Enterprise


Sorenson, Jeffrey A., Army


Enterprise: a purposeful or industrious undertaking - especially one of some scope, complication and risk - that requires effort or boldness, and systematic activity; a willingness and readiness to undertake new ventures; initiative.

Commonality of purpose, bold thinking and action, ingenuity - as the Army endeavors to create the network that can support the 21st-century force, this is exactly what we need. We can't go about it in a haphazard or disjointed way however. To harness, drive and direct the inventiveness and energy necessary to build the 21st-century network, a new approach that sets a fundamental architectural framework is required. That is where the other meaning of enterprise comes into play.

The mission of LandWarNet, the Army's network and portion of the Defense Department Global Information Grid, is to improve leaders' and soldiers' situational awareness and understanding, thereby enabling them to train, plan, collaborate and operate coherently, to act decisively at all points along the spectrum of conflict, and to access joint, combined and interagency assets. The only way to achieve this objective is to set and apply a formal enterprise architecture, around which command, control, communications, computers/information technology (C4/IT) solutions for operational needs are constructed.

The Army is building a C4/IT architecture that is intentionally broad, designed to elicit creativity yet produce unity of effort. The architecture sketches the baseline: that the network be a single, secure, standards-based, versatile infrastructure linked by networked, redundant transport systems, sensors, warfighting and business applications, and data that provide soldiers, civilians and mission partners the information thev need, when they need it, in any environment, to manage the Army and to conduct full spectrum operations. It calls for synchronization with industry, use of the Everything Over Internet Protocol, uniform technical standards, and common identity management and security services. Only demarcation according to classification will remain.

It is upon this baseline, which will be completed in the beginning of fiscal year (FY) 2011, that the Army and industry will build the network of the 21st century.

Filling in the Framework

With the foundation and frame of a common network enterprise architecture,, the Army can establish other points of cohesion that previously were absent, such as commonality in the operating environment.

I have crafted a formal common operating environment (COE) strategy, which identifies three conditions necessary to develop and rapidly deliver software applications to soldiers: standardized end-user environments and software-development tool kits; streamlined enterprise software processes; and creation of an Army software marketplace. The Army intends to apply a common operating environment to each of five categories of computing platforms: enterprise servers, tactical servers, vehicles, desktop users and small form factor (sensors and PDAs).

These COEs will help the Army align itself with industry best practices and will deliver incremental secure C4/IT capabilities to the warfighter more quickly, more efficiently and at less cost. The Army will be able to pursue smaller programs, separating data from applications, as well as the use of common modules to accelerate software development

The network enterprise architecture also will enable the Army to address a deficiency in one of its most fundamental daily business and operating processes: e-mail. Ultimately, all Armv personnel, imi formed and civilian, work for the same "corporation"; to date, however, e-mail has been managed by individual installations and functional organizations - a method that is inefficient, costly, operationally difficult and sometimes even confusing. (A soldier could have a different e-mail address at each stage of the Army force generation cycle. …

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