If you go to Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary and type in "enterprise," three different descriptions will pop up: (1) a project or undertaking that is especially difficult, complicated or risky; (2) a readiness to engage in daring or difficult action; and (3) a unit of economic organization or activity, especially: (a) a business organization; (b) a systematic purposeful activity.
If you were to apply these three definitions to the Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES) and the Joint Program Executive Office Joint Tactical Radio System (JPEO JTRS), you would find a good match. Both these enterprise initiatives, CANES, a Department of the Navy program of record, and JPEO JTRS, a Defense Department program of record, are daring, difficult, purposely systematic and risky because they bust old acquisition paradigms, employ innovative technologies and challenge us to think differently about what it means to be part of an enterprise.
Thinking in terms of an enterprise means giving up individual control and putting our faith and efforts into making the enterprise as a whole a success. Change is difficult, but helping the DON and DoD become true enterprise organizations will yield tremendous cost savings and cost avoidance, invigorate competition and innovation, and enhance security and extend communications.
To me, becoming an enterprise also means having power and clout and the ability to make transformational changes for the benefit of the entire DON and DoD, and not just for our individual projects and organizations. There are many sound business reasons to think and act like an enterprise, but perhaps the best business case is to enable the warfighter on the pointy end of the spear. CANES and the JPEO JTRS have already demonstrated success in their enterprise business models and in enabling better communications for the warfighter. I urge you to read about their successes in this issue.
In May, the CHIPS staff manned the Team SPAWAR exhibit at the Joint Warfighting Conference at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. Thanks to those who stopped by to say hello. The JWC was cosponsored by U.S. Joint Forces Command, AFCEA International and the U.S. Naval Institute.
The JWC was held concurrently with the DON IM/IT Conference hosted by the DON CIO. Both conferences sparked a great deal of dialogue among subject matter experts, leadership and attendees. Many of the articles from the DON CIO and the Q&As with USJFCOM leadership in this issue were a result of the enthusiasm for topics discussed at the conferences. I hope you find this issue informing and maybe just a bit challenging to your way of thinking.
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