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CHIPS Articles: Join Us at a 2017 DON IT Conference

Join Us at a 2017 DON IT Conference
By Robert Foster - January-March 2017
I want to take this opportunity to encourage attendance at one of the 2017 DON IT conferences. These events, held twice each year, are highly successful at bringing together the Department’s Information Management (IM) and Information Technology (IT) professionals to learn about the latest initiatives, collaborate on lessons learned and best practices, interact with DON leadership, and attend sessions that support continuous learning.

The conference program is developed to share knowledge and obtain feedback from DON Sailors, Marines, and civilians. Held on the East and West Coasts to minimize attendee travel, they attract hundreds of participants, not only from the Navy and Marine Corps, but also from the Secretariat, DoD and our sister Services.

The agenda for the DON IT West Coast Conference in San Diego, scheduled for February 21-23, has been finalized. In May, we will hold the DON IT East Coast Conference in Norfolk, Virginia.

In 2014, when AFCEA moved its East Coast conference from the Hampton Roads area to Baltimore, the DON IT Conference moved with them. However, the San Diego conference site has proven year after year that the place we want to be is where a significant concentration of Fleet personnel lives and works. Our goal is to reestablish this event in the Fleet/Marine concentration area of Tidewater Virginia to facilitate the greatest participation by our Fleet and shore-based communities on the East Coast.

I encourage DON leadership in East Coast commands to support attendance at this event, scheduled for May 16-18, at the Hilton Norfolk The Main. We expect a large and very engaged turnout February 21-23 at the DON IT Conference West Coast, which will again be held at the San Diego Convention Center, and we want to establish that same level of rapport with the Fleet and commands on the East Coast.

Why attend? Participants at our 2017 conferences will hear from subject matter experts in a wide range of current areas of interest to the DON IT community, including: cybersecurity from risk management, compliance, and business points of view; audit readiness, including internal use software and the risk management framework financial management overlay; privacy; cloud computing; the Navy’s three-year plan for mobile computing; enterprise licensing; naval networks; data center optimization; and new FY17 defense business system certification requirements. A Navy/Marine Corps Electromagnetic Spectrum Summit will again be held in conjunction with the conference.

Among the new offerings this year is a Data and Analytics Consortium kickoff and workshop, discussing the latest initiatives across the DON and options to better organize data/analytics efforts and promote data, information, and services sharing. Also new this year is a DON “Innovation Power Hour” that will include how we can help innovative concepts grow as well as present highlights of innovation projects for FY17.

Each conference features the opportunity to interact directly with leadership at a CIO Town Hall. In San Diego, I will be joined by Vice Adm. Jan Tighe, the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare/Director of Naval Intelligence and DON Deputy CIO (Navy), and Brig. Gen. Dennis Crall, the Director, Command, Control, Communications, and Computers (C4) of the Marine Corps and DON Deputy CIO (Marine Corps). At the conclusion of the Town Hall at both the East and West Coast events, we have the honor and pleasure of presenting the annual DON IM/IT Excellence Awards.

As in the past, we will co-locate both events with an Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) conference, which provides a wide complement of government and industry participation that enables outreach with our military attendees.

I hope to see and hear from you at one of these events, and urge you to participate, learn, and share your ideas for moving the DON IT community forward. Registration is required, but free. The opportunity to collaborate and learn from your DON teammates and leadership is priceless.

For additional information and registration for both the East and West Coast conferences, visit

Editor’s Note: The DON IT Conference West Coast will be held Feb. 21-23, 2017, at the San Diego Convention Center, located at 111 W. Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA. The DON IT Conference East Coast will be held May 16-18, 2017, at the Hilton Norfolk The Main, located at 100 Main Street Norfolk, VA. The conferences are open to all DON, DoD, government, military, and support contractor personnel. Several sessions provide credits toward CompTIA A+, Net+, Sec+ CEUs for cyberspace/IT workforce members.

DON CIO Robert Foster
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