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CHIPS Articles: The DON’s High “Innovation Quotient”

The DON’s High “Innovation Quotient”
By Robert Foster - April-June 2017
The need for innovation never diminishes — to harness technology; to do more with less in budget challenged environments; to challenge the status quo. The Department of the Navy continues to cultivate an environment that promotes, fosters, and rewards innovation.

For example, through our annual DON IM/IT Excellence Awards program, I have the opportunity to recognize outstanding individuals from across the department who are leading change with innovative concepts that transform the way we do business.

This year’s award winning solutions included alleviating the pier-side bandwidth shortage faced by Navy ships in port, implementing innovative and cost-effective security solutions that enabled the Marine Corps to improve network security, and improving mission-essential Navy Reserve Force business processes with a mobile application that allows secure access to Navy email and information systems — anytime, anywhere.

The DON CIO has proudly sponsored these awards for more than 10 years. This year I added new categories to recognize professionals working in FOIA, Privacy, and Cybersecurity. Visit the DON CIO website to see the full list of this year’s award winners and read about their great achievements:

Innovative ideas arise from throughout the DON, at all levels of service. Solutions may be quick-wins or they could be products of longer-term working groups. For example, we have initiated a Data Analytics Consortium that seeks to improve DON IM/IT data analytics capabilities through improved data, information, and services sharing. We want to improve how we meet the everyday demands of data consumers and decision makers; rapidly create innovations to meet those demands; and deploy and operate data innovations with minimal time-to-market.

The Office of Strategy and Innovation (S&I), established within the Office of the Deputy Undersecretary of the Navy for Management, champions innovation across the department. S&I’s efforts, success stories, and offerings are available on its “Innovation Vision” website:

All of these efforts are representative of a broad range of department initiatives that focus on identifying and implementing transformational change. In all cases, they are the result of individuals who dare to challenge and improve the status quo.

We thank those of you who make the effort to bring great ideas to reality. I am continually inspired by the high “innovation quotient” of the DON’s talented and dedicated professionals.

DON CIO Rob Foster
DON CIO Rob Foster
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