Kim Lynch and Christine Menza of Booz Allen Hamilton said there are three strategies the Intelligence Community should implement to support the IC workforce while building resilience amid the emergence of nation-state competition and the first is integrating the innovators.
“The IC can move forward using commercial technologies that are readily available, embedding software across mission priorities, by prioritizing access to unconventional technologies from non-traditional defense businesses,” Lynch and Menza wrote in an article published Monday in The Cipher Brief.
They identified areas where industry partners could help the community advance innovation, such as mapping innovation to mission sets, helping startups secure clearances and align with government policies and tailoring open-source platforms to integrate innovation.
Empowering a hybrid workforce is another strategy the IC should adopt and this could be carried out by implementing a model that allows intelligence professionals to operate in a combination of unclassified spaces and secure compartmented information facilities, according to Menza and Lynch.
“This gives the IC the opportunity to employ the skills of professionals waiting to be fully cleared as well as top software and engineering talent that can take on unclassified work for a ‘develop low side, deploy high side’ approach,” they wrote. “Immersing these experts in rewarding work during the months they’re waiting to be cleared helps them engage and bond with the mission – increasing the chance of retention during this phase and beyond.”
Lynch and Menza called on the IC to further develop the next generation of intelligence professionals by allowing them to take part in open-source intelligence analysis, partnering with organizations over STEM programs, competitions and hackathons and offering internship programs that permit experimentation with new technologies.
Lynch is an executive vice president at Booz Allen responsible for the firm’s U.S. government classified and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency businesses. Menza is a senior VP responsible for the company’s national agencies clients.