The U.S. Navy is contemplating a redesign of its highly reliable intranet — the biggest in the world — that could diminish service and security for 700,000 shore-based users. The basic idea is to split an integrated architecture into four separately competed segments. The new approach would be called the Next Generation Enterprise Network Re-compete, or NGEN-R, and the Navy’s goal is to save money while keeping abreast of the latest commercial IT technologies. However, the system would have so many seams and each segment would be re-competed so frequently that NGEN-R sounds like a recipe for instability. If the sea services were to lose faith or functionality in their intranet during wartime, that could prove fatal for warfighters. So the Navy needs to rethink the course it is on to avoid wrecking something vital that is working well today. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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