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CHIPS Articles: The Enduring Value of the DON Information Superiority Vision

The Enduring Value of the DON Information Superiority Vision
By Sharon Anderson - January-March 2021

As I write this, vulnerable populations across the nation are receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, including service members, first responders and those with serious health conditions. While we are not out of the woods yet, signs indicate we may be looking at a better 2021. A new year always leads to reflection as we examine the ups and downs of the previous year. While the Department of the Navy faced many challenges in 2020, there were many successes of note.

Probably the most talked about achievement of 2020 is how the Departments of Defense and Navy shattered expectations in delivering the Commercial Virtual Remote Environment, or CVR, a platform with Microsoft Teams collaboration tools and other Office 365 products that expanded new telework tools such as chat, video conferencing and document sharing. Working with the DoD CIO, Defense Information Systems Agency, and DON IT community, the DON CIO’s planning and guidance helped increase circuits, upgrade infrastructure, expand virtual private networks and dramatically boosted bandwidth. As DON CIO Aaron Weis said in his column for this edition, these actions, “modernized our network and changed the way we work for the better.”

The DON’s Information Superiority Vision (ISV) continues to serve as the Department’s North Star shining a light on the cyber/IT successes of the past year and serving as a guide to further the milestones made in 2020, which you can read about in this edition, in the “DON CIO Year in Review — FY20 Key Accomplishments” article.

Organizing around the strategic objectives of Modernize, Innovate and Defend and utilizing the strategic assets of Data and the DON Workforce, the DON CIO is partnering with the Department’s IT community in 2021 on four substantial efforts: (1) Consolidate IT Portfolios; (2) Deliver Cloud Services; (3) Optimize Identity and Access to DON enterprise networks and services; and (4) Enable Data Visibility & Availability.

The “Memo to Accelerate Modernization and Transformation of DON IT Capabilities,” launched Operation CATTLE DRIVE. In this initiative, the DON CIO partners with the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Financial Management and Comptroller) and the Director, Office of the Chief Management Officer, to take a proactive stance and aggressively identify, assess, and ultimately eliminate redundant systems and applications throughout the organization.

In August, the DON CIO issued the Establishment of Single Service Microsoft 365 Cloud Tenancy policy that aligns to the latest DoD cloud implementation guidance and will direct enterprise management of cloud and data center services. In December, the DON issued a Cloud Policy Memo, co-signed by the CIO and Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development & Acquisition (ASN RDA). The memo establishes the “” Digital Marketplace as single point to buy cloud services.

Operation: FLANK SPEED is the rapid and focused effort to sustain and extend current Commercial Virtual Remote collaboration and productivity capabilities post-CVR which ends in June 2021. The Department is developing funding and technical strategies to accelerate M365 to make it a more robust and enduring capability. M365 will serve as the foundation to deliver zero-trust principles and digital enterprise services across the Program Executive Office (PEO) Digital and Enterprise Services’ portfolio of programs. PEO Digital is leading the effort for providing shared enterprise IT services.

PEO Digital is also conducting a Naval Identity Services (NIS) pilot to evaluate a technical solution for Identity, Credentialing, and Access Management (ICAM) for Navy ERP.

In this effort, the DON CIO will establish ICAM governance and a roadmap. Modernization teams will formally align their architectures and service definitions so they can leverage shared solutions. In particular, the Naval Digital Platform Transformation (NDPT) team will take advantage of PEO Digital’s $7.7B award of the DON Service Management, Integration, and Transport (SMIT) contract to reengineer the backbone platform for delivery of DON enterprise services.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday directed the establishment of Project OVERMATCH to enable a Navy and Marine Corps team that “swarms the sea, delivering synchronized lethal and non-lethal effects from near-and-far, every axis and every domain. Critical to Project Overmatch is the development of modernized networks, infrastructure, data architecture, tools and analytics that support the operational and developmental environment that will enable sustained maritime dominance.”

A critical component of the CNO’s vision for Project Overmatch is development of a robust DON Enterprise Data Environment. The DON CIO is supporting the continued development of the DoD Data Strategy and will create a DON implementation plan that focuses on governance, workforce, readiness, tools and technology.

The modernized battle network the CNO has directed, the Navy Tactical Grid, will have to operate with the Navy’s enterprise network, an effort called Project PLAID. A significant priority of the DON CIO’s this year is to secure the connection between OVERMATCH and PLAID.

You can read about these efforts in this edition and please take note of the new DON CIO seals featured on the cover and to the right. The new seals reaffirm the importance of the DON’s Information Superiority Vision.

Across America we continue to stand in awe at the dedication of our healthcare professionals and other dedicated frontline workers who make our daily lives safer and better.

Be strong! Stay well!
Sharon Anderson

Sharon Anderson is the CHIPS senior editor. She can be reached at

CHIPS January-March 2021 edition cover featuring the new DON CIO official seals highlighting the strategic objectives of the Information Superiority Vision: Modernize, Innovate, Defend.
Official DON CIO seal
Reverse side of the Official DON CIO seal stating the Information Superiority Vision strategic objectives, Modernize, Innovate, Defend, equate to Information Superiority is Combat Power
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