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Q&A: NATO's first CIO Manfred Boudreaux-Dehmer on priorities and progress

"NATO finds the organically grown ‘IT garden’ in need of some pruning, cleanup, and restructuring. My focus is to pivot to a centrally anchored Enterprise Architecture..."

In 2020, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) advertised for its first Chief Information Officer (CIO). The stated aim: “Drive coherence across 41 separate NATO civil and military bodies” and “using a wide variety of tools to enable a coherent, harmonised, transparent and effective approach to the way the NATO Enterprise delivers ICT capabilities.”

In the summer of 2021, NATO announced the appointment of Manfred Boudreaux-Dehmer, who was tasked with taking more of an Enterprise approach to the €1+ billion spending on IT annually and "oversight for the design, development, and operation of the NATO Enterprise architecture."

This was and is a formidable challenge at an entity known for challenging political dynamics and with a complex set of stakeholders.

NATO's first CIO barely had his feet under the table before war broke out on European soil.

The spring plenary meeting of principals on the NATO Consultation, Command, and Control (C3) Board approved the implementation strategy for NATO's Digital Transformation, which the Heads of State and Government endorsed this week at the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania.

"By 2030", the alliance says, "NATO’s Digital Transformation will enable the Alliance to conduct multi-domain operations, ensure interoperability across all domains, enhance situational awareness, and facilitate political consultation and data-driven decision-making..."

The Stack caught up with the IT veteran to hear how things were going when it came to delivering on his mandate, and more.

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