The U.S. Army is currently looking to integrate its tactical networks with its enterprise cloud systems, something that a top Army official this week said is “really challenging” to do.

Pushparani Jayapal, chief of the Army’s Cloud Enablement Division in the Enterprise Cloud Management Agency, said that because the Army conducts multi-domain operations, the Outside the Continental United States (OCONUS) installations and tactical units are typically disconnected from the Army’s enterprise systems.

“So, one of the important things that we learned from Ukraine and also from other areas where we are doing some quick exercises is that the tactical units need to be very tightly integrated with the enterprise systems,” Jayapal said during an Aug. 8 webinar presented by Defense One and NextGov.

“Tactical units, generally they have their own networks, and enterprise systems are generally disconnected from the tactical unit,” she explained.

In alignment with the Army Data Plan, Jayapal said the Army is looking to see how these tactical networks can integrate with its enterprise and business resources, “so we can provide the absolute high decision making quality to our commanders to support these warfighting missions.”

As part of the push towards a data-centric Army, Jayapal said her team is looking to ensure there is data interoperability between the systems inside the Army ecosystem. This means not just hosting cloud solutions in the cloud space, “but also creating an ecosystem where they can share data seamlessly,” she said.

One initiative underway, according to Jayapal, is the Army’s application programming interface (API) management platform, which helps systems to transfer data with ease and standardization.

Another initiative, she said, is one that aims to deploy those big data platforms on the tactical edge into the enterprise system. In doing so, Jayapal said both tactical and enterprise commanders can access the information at the same time to make real-time decisions.

“Warfighting and the tactical is a really challenging and interesting space to integrate into the cloud,” Jayapal said. “Business and enterprise systems, they are well on their way because that’s what industry does, but integrating tactical with enterprise is a very interesting challenge that the Army is undertaking right now.”

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.