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Leveraging the Enterprise for Rapid Technology Insertion

Mark Alonzo

Like many of my colleagues, I am packing my bags and heading to Orlando for the 2012 GEOINT Symposium.  In fact, I’ll be at the show by the time this posting goes live. While getting things organized to go, I took some time out to do a little planning for the show.  This year’s GEOINT theme is “Creating the Innovation Advantage”, so I started thinking about what sort of innovations we might see this year.  Since I focus primarily on Enterprise technologies, I started there.

The move to Enterprise systems is generating a host of interesting innovations, from centralized services to mobile deployments.  Maybe it’s just me, but technology seems to be evolving at an ever-increasing pace.  I started thinking about how the Enterprise supports and accelerates the pace of evolution.  One example I think is important and perhaps overlooked, is the ability to increase our rate of technology innovation insertion into mission critical applications and workflows.  I’m going to call this concept Rapid Technology Insertion, and I’ll explain what I mean by that and why it’s important.

Let’s take the development of a new technique for using geospatial imagery for target detection as an example.  With the establishment of centralized data stores that are widely accessible to end users, more users than ever before have access to the latest data, and often have access to new data types from new sensors earlier than they have in the past.  This gives the image scientists and analysts more opportunities to work with data that they haven’t had access to in the past, which provides additional opportunities to develop and vet new processing techniques.  Enterprise systems, such as SharePoint, also provide means for collaboration across the world enabling quick collaboration and feedback between those developing new tools and techniques.

As new processing algorithms or techniques are developed, they’ve traditionally been widely deployed to end users through desktop systems as demand for them increased.  This process frequently takes years.  With Enterprise systems in place, algorithms can be coded and made available for evaluation while still under development.  As they mature, they can be deployed as enterprise services available to more users.  Commercial software vendors, like Exelis VIS, can build them as enterprise services available individually before they are released as part of complete enterprise or desktop software packages.  This technology evolution process gets the innovations in geospatial data analysis into the hands of end users at the speed at which they need it to deliver the actionable geospatial intelligence today’s environment demands.

I hope you can see how the evolution of the enterprise is enabling rapid innovations in technology from the increased availability of data to support for collaboration to deployment of new tools to those who need it most.  I’ll be looking for tools and technologies at GEOINT that support this process.  And, since we’ll be in Orlando, maybe I’ll spot a mouse or a princess along the way.

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