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CHIPS Articles: Message from the DON CIO, April-June 2002

Message from the DON CIO, April-June 2002
20 Years of Sharing DON IT
By Dan Porter - April-June 2002
Since becoming Chief Information Officer for the Department of the Navy, I have recognized CHIPS as an essential tool in facilitating the DON CIO's mission of putting information to work for our people. As CHIPS celebrates its 20th anniversary, I have looked back at articles over the past 20 years, and realize that from its inception, CHIPS has been a vital leader in sharing information on IT.

In 1982, one of the first issues of Chips reported on office automation (a term that many of our younger readers may not be familiar with) and explained various applications — word processing, electronic mail, electronic filing, electronic calendars and tickler files. Today, office automation is a term that is no longer in most of our vocabularies, but it is a way of life. The applications that were just being explored in 1982 have grown up to become second nature to our people working at shore-based establishments as well as the fleet.

In 1988 the Department purchased 156,000 Z-248 PCs. Users were slow to accept the widespread use of PCs. In January 1989, CHIPS reported on a speech given at the Navy Micro 1989 conference. Rear Adm. Tobin, Director, Information Resources Management, Information Systems, said that 40 percent of the Z-248 computers, purchased by the DON, were not being used. CHIPS admonished readers to do the math—calculate 40 percent of 156,000 and multiply that by the average price of $3000 per system. Today, most of us "cannot live" without our PCs. In order to maintain information security and to efficiently meet today's computing needs, we have the Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) being implemented with a conservative demand estimated at 411,000 seats.

In April 1995, CHIPS reported on Vice Adm. Walter Davis, CNO N6, talking about the challenges of buying computer systems that will meet the Navy's needs and not become obsolete before they are delivered. In that article, he emphasized the need for interoperable software and admonished readers that we need to capitalize on the rapid evolution in commercial hardware and software products. In October 2000, the NMCI contract was established using a commercial vendor to provide an interoperable IT infrastructure for the Continental United States and selected overseas sites. The contract ensures that the DON's IT products are at least 75 percent of the level of state-of the-art for commercial industry.

In 1999, CHIPS reported on the Department's efforts in mitigating Y2K issues. The year 2000 came and went, DON systems were ready and functioned smoothly, and now the Department is looking toward issues of protecting our infrastructure (CHIPS Fall 2001) and privacy (CHIPS Winter 2002). The Common Access Card (CHIPS Winter 2002) which has been adopted throughout the Department of Defense, enables these important initiatives by providing reliable and secure physical and cyber access through the use of a single multi-functional card.

As IT evolves and the focus of IT initiatives changes, CHIPS is there – investigating, exploring, sharing. I commend CHIPS Magazine for continuing to live up to its motto of sharing information, technology and experience over the past 20 years.

TAGS: ITAM, Workforce
DON CIO Dan Porter
DON CIO Dan Porter
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CHIPS is an official U.S. Navy website sponsored by the Department of the Navy (DON) Chief Information Officer, the Department of Defense Enterprise Software Initiative (ESI) and the DON's ESI Software Product Manager Team at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific.

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