The Naval Postgraduate School’s (NPS) Information Technology and Communications Services (ITACS) department has been recognized for innovative support to the university with its receipt of the Navy Agility and Accountability Impact Award, presented Sept. 18.
ITACS was recognized in the Agile Technology category, which highlights achievements in the development, adoption and/or delivery of new or improved hardware, software or tool(s) that improved the effectiveness or overall mission readiness of the organization. In other words, as leaders across the services are touting the value of rapid acquisition processes to respond to emerging requirements, NPS ITACS is making it happen for faculty and students across the university campus.
“The EDU network affords NPS the ability to make changes quickly to respond to emerging faculty, staff and student requirements,” said Chris Gaucher, NPS’ Deputy Chief Information Officer (CIO), on hand to accept the award on behalf of CIO Joe LoPiccolo and the entire ITACS team. “Timeliness is absolutely critical in an academic environment.”
“This is a great opportunity for the institution,” added university president, retired Vice Adm. Ann Rondeau. “With NavalX here talking about how to bridge and integrate efforts across various entities to create the kind of ecosystem of innovation is really great. I want to thank NavalX for its efforts and being here today.”
The EDU network employed by the university is a critical enabler to the mission, Gaucher stressed, much like every member of the larger ITACS community on campus.
“Although the list of explicit awardees is short, the list of those who made this possible is quite long,” he said. “Our ITACS team’s flexibility and agility, combined with our desire for learning new things, taking some risk and learning from failure, contributes daily towards our growing success.”
Gaucher went on, “We want to especially thank our industry vendors, such as Amazon Web Services, Extreme Networks, Ruckus and Palo Alto Networks. As experts in their field, they are the partners on whom we rely most heavily and could not and should not do any of this without them.”
ITACS serves as the central information technology (IT) organization for NPS and provides technology and communications support for its core mission of teaching and research. This challenging academic environment requires that faculty and researchers constantly explore new boundaries of the unknown, and that leads to failures, often.
Academic IT services must be agile, resilient and secure, Gaucher stressed. Static IT services with limited capacity and long procurement lead times cannot keep up with the demands of NPS faculty.
The ITACS department “meets this challenge every day,” Gaucher said, in three major areas that led to its selection for the award.
First, a 100-gigabit-per-second Software Defined Network-capable EDU network using a hybrid Infrastructure-as-a-Service model leveraging elastic cloud services with on-premise hardware. Second, a High-Performance Computing suite of systems that supports education and research at NPS, and actually helps recruit top faculty. And third, a determined focus on security with its Cybersecurity Operations Center that monitors and defends the Navy’s EDU networks 24 hours a day, seven days a week ...while offering unique experience tours to students and cyber research opportunities to faculty.
Put it all together, and NPS’ innovative team at ITACS is doing its part to enable the mission, and being recognized for it through the new Agility and Accountability Impact Awards program.