During Session 2 – Continuity – we were provided with an overview of some real-life operational challenges facing the Nations (both NATO Members and Partners), the NATO Force Structure and our non-'Ministry of Defence Customers' with a clear message that enhancing readiness and interoperability is critical not just within NATO and the NFS, but also with Partners and many other actors in the Euro-Atlantic region. The session was supported by an influential set of speakers included Brigadier General Krzysztof Król, Deputy Commander, Multinational Corps Northeast; Brigadier General Dr Valentin Becheru, Chief of CIS Directorate, Romanian General Staff; Dr George Sharkov, Bulgarian National Cyber Resilience Coordinator; and Rear Admiral Juha Vauhkonen, Finnish Military Representative to NATO and the EU.
Considering the increasing demands from the External Customers as they face the challenges outlined in Sessions 1 and 2, the NCI Agency is taking a number of initiatives to improve the effectiveness and efficiency for the delivery of C3 capabilities and IT services to External Customers without adversely impacting core business from common funded entities (Internal Customers).
In Session 3 – Change – the NCI Agency outlined some of those initiatives, including: the establishment of an interim External Customer Support Office from 1 January 2017; the development of the Electronic Definitive Media Library as a follow-on to the Routine Delivery Software Download site; increased cooperation with Industry and not-for-profit (NFP) organizations such as scientific and Research and Development organizations through the development of N1S and NFP Basic Ordering Agreements; and cooperation through the NATO Industry Cyber Partnership, which is a new initiative to strengthen collaboration between NATO and the private sector on cyber security. The CIOs and the Agency also benefited from feedback from the National Technical Experts (NATEXs), who were represented by the Canadian NATEX, Lieutenant Colonel James Bates.
Once again, the CIOC proved to be a significant event, adding value for the National and invited Partner CIOs, attracting excellent speakers and generating some lively debate, which, it is hoped will contribute towards the ACT Chiefs of Transformation Conference in December 2016 and the Defence Planning Symposium in February 2017, led by the Defence Policy and Planning Division. The Agency will provide a Conference Report by mid-December 2016 including suggested actions to address the discussed proposals.
The 2017 CIO Conference is planned to be held in November 2017, and, as in the past years, will coincide with the Fall NCIO Agency Supervisory Board and C3Board meetings. It is likely to focus on the NATO Forces Readiness and Interoperability Partnership in the context of the expected Summit decision on Long Term Adaptation and Forward Presence. However, we would welcome the thoughts of the CIOs on this proposal.