For DISA, Challenges Often are Cultural as Much as Technical

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The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) sometimes struggles as much with resistance to fresh ideas as it does with challenging new technology as seeks to improve communications for U.S. troops, according to a senior agency official.

Anthony Montemarano, DISA component acquisition executive, said during an Oct. 21 luncheon speech at the Milcom 2009 conference here that he has had particular difficulty bringing together those who work with space systems and those focused on terrestrial efforts to achieve new capabilities. Some defense officials have treated space and the ground as “separate religions,” making it more difficult to develop seamless communications capabilities, he said.

“Technology doesn’t give me headaches — culture gives me headaches,” Montemarano said. “A lot of good ideas have come out in the past 10 years, but we haven’t implemented them because of culture.”