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Departing Navy CIO Rob Carey: Tap the Expertise of 'Digital Natives'

Departing Navy CIO Rob Carey: Tap the Expertise of 'Digital Natives' - top government contractors - best government contracting event
Robert Carey
Departing Navy CIO Rob Carey: Tap the Expertise of 'Digital Natives' - top government contractors - best government contracting event
Robert Carey

In his last blog post as U.S. Navy’s chief information officer, Robert Carey urged the service’s IT department to embrace the organizational, technological and educational changes that began during his tenure.

Carey, who is joining the Fleet Cyber Command after four years as Navy CIO, detailed some of the changes the Navy has gone through, including deployment of the Navy Marine Corps Intranet, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the onslaught of wireless, Web 2.0, social media, cyberspace, green IT and cloud computing.

“We have moved from centralized to decentralized models and back again toward consolidation and more centralized management of the network to more efficiently deliver better security and agile decision making,” he wrote. “Change in cyberspace has accelerated and shows no signs of slowing down. We will need to stay abreast of this continued pace of change if we are to remain ahead of our adversaries.

Structural changes in the Navy’s IT department are opportunities for its members to “seize the day” and create a more efficient organization that is better equipped to achieve its tasks, Carey said. These changes are crucial if the department wants to continue ensuring the nation’s security and maintain the United States’ military’s global power, he added.

Carey also said the distinction that used to be made between information management/IT and cyberspace is no longer valid, and that Navy IT professionals must think outside of that box to continue to securely move information around the world.

“The ‘network’ serves all users, moving email and video and enabling financial transactions and more purposeful military related tasks,” he wrote. “For that reason, it must be considered differently and not solely for a unique purpose.”

The departing CIO also advised his department to recognize the expertise of the “Digital Natives and the experience of the Digital Immigrants.”

“We need their collective talents to maintain our supremacy in cyberspace,” he wrote. “Finally, remain a learning organization.”

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