Across the Department of the Navy, commands and individuals are working to increase accountability and productivity, reduce administrative burdens and streamline business processes. This concerted effort is not an exercise in the latest management theories, but rather a renewed focus on time and cost savings that can be used for operational advantage. Savings that can lead to the next-generation of advanced technology and advancing warfighter lethality.
To leverage these savings, the department’s data must be accurate, transparent and accessible.
Thomas Modly, Under Secretary of the Navy, who is both the Chief Management Officer and the Chief Information Officer, is particularly focused on audit readiness and business operations.
“When You Hear ‘Audit,’ Think Agility and Accountability,” Modly wrote in an article for War on the Rocks.
“We therefore need to enable our maritime leaders with access to reliable and time-sensitive information that fully informs their situational awareness, and without the gaps in data fidelity that they experience today. This is why our audit efforts go far beyond a financial exercise to assure the Congress we know how we are spending the taxpayers’ money. Rather, it is a vital enterprise tool to enable our naval forces to execute America’s maritime strategy in this century and beyond,” he wrote.
Accurate inventory management, the availability of spare parts and supply chain integrity are areas where Modly expects the audit to reveal better ways of doing business.
“Without better, more accurate visibility into this information, we cannot properly plan and pay for operations. In short, until we get better in this area, we risk ships not getting underway and airplanes not flying,” Modly wrote.
You can read about UNSECNAV’s thoughts on audit readiness in a Navy Live blog post reprinted in this edition, “Navy Auditability Leads to Victory in War.”
Likewise, Navy Cyber Security Division Director Rear Adm. Danelle Barrett said the Navy is working to transform and simplify the communications network onboard Navy ships to make it easier for operators to connect and access the data they need. You can read about the Navy’s web-service effort in “Navy Aims for “Compile to Combat in 24 Hours.”
The articles in this edition express the urgency in which the DON must embrace data science and analytics; artificial intelligence and machine learning; machine and human teaming; cybersecurity process improvement; and the importance of IT modernization and retiring legacy systems, which are costly to upgrade and inherently unsecure.
I’m sure that you have ideas about ways the department can streamline processes, innovate and enable the mission success and security of Sailors and Marines.
As Under Secretary Modly noted, in this era of great power competition, our national security and continued economic prosperity may depend on it.
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Sharon Anderson is the CHIPS senior editor. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.