Common Operating Environment Guidance (Oct 2010)

"We're building an Army that is a versatile mix
of tailorable and networked organizations operating
on a rotational bases... to provide a sustained
flow of trained and ready forces for full spectrum
operations... and to hedge against unexpected
contingencies... at a tempo that is predictable
and sustainable for our all-volunteer force. 
- GEN George Casey, Chief of Staff Army, 6 Apr 2010

On Oct. 29, the Army published guidance for a Common Operating Environment Architecture (PDF) for the Army Enterprise Network. Both the Chief Information Office/G-6 and the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology (ASA(ALT)) approved the guidance (PDF) on Oct. 20, 2010.

The COE is a set of computing technologies and standards that will enable secure and interoperable applications to be rapidly developed and executed across a variety of computing environments: server, client, mobile devices, sensors, and platforms.

In early 2011 ASA(ALT) will publish a complementary implementation plan that describes the steps and schedule for bringing Army systems into compliance with the guidance.

The COE Architecture and the Army’s overarching “End State” Architecture will drastically reduce the time it takes to deliver relevant applications to those who need them. The COE augments Army Software Transformation, an effort to standardize end-user environments and software development kits, establish streamlined enterprise software processes that rely on common pre-certified, reusable software components, and develop deployment strategies that allow users direct access to new capability

The benefits of a COE Architecture are lower costs, improved inter-operability and easier system maintenance.

In order to obtain funding for developing and acquiring IT devices or systems, all programs under the Army Acquisition Executive will need to comply with the COE guidance and plan. The guidance and plan also provide direction to industry partners.

The guidance is one of several annexes to the overarching document “End-State Army Enterprise Architecture” that guides future network procurements and establishes minimum technical architecture standards for the acquisition or development of IT and National Security Systems. The “End State” document and some of the annexes will be published in the near future.

To help guide the COE effort, the Army CIO/G6 developed a maturity model that can be used to conduct cost-benefit trades and to evaluate programs’ alignment with the COE goals.

Army Enterprise Network Vision:
Army Soldiers, Civilians, and mission partners have the right
information at the right time at the right place.

The Global Information Grid and Enterprise View

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