Cloud Veteran Brings Wall Street Smarts to the Battlefield

The Department of Defense (DoD)–has recruited a new CIO–Dana Deasy. The former CIO at JPMorgan Chase & Co., Mr. Deasy is expected to report for duty in early May.

“Mr. Deasy’s extensive enterprise-level experience and leadership will ensure the department drives a culture of performance and maximizes the value of every taxpayer dollar entrusted to us,” said Pentagon chief spokesperson Dana W. White.

Deasy enters the public sector following a brief pause in his 30-year career in corporate IT, retiring from JPMorgan in September 2017.

“In his position, he will be responsible for how we manage and use information, communications and cyber-security,” White continued. “This is particularly important as we adopt cloud technology to make more informed and timely decisions on the battlefield.”

Deasy seems like a good fit for a cloud mission. At JPMorgan, he led a cloud migration effort at a time when banks remained reticent to adopt the new formation. Deasy directed the banking giant’s first public cloud deployment in March 2017.

Clearly, this is a critical inflection point for DoD’s cloud journey, with DoD’s multibillion dollar JEDI contract award waiting on the flanks.

“We want to get the best deal for the American people, and we want to get the best technology for our warfighters,” White said of the JEDI.

DoD has assumed a loose IT battle formation, as its IT staff cycled to fill the CIO position vacated by Terry Halvorsen in February 2017. John Zangardi, now CIO at the Department of Homeland Security stepped in as acting CIO following Halversen’s departure. When the White House announced Zangardi would become Homeland Security’s CIO in October, Essye Miller, DoD’s chief CISO and deputy CIO for cybersecurity, became acting DoD CIO.

And, now, leadership of The Defense Department’s information technology efforts shifts to a former private sector executive.

DoD has been praised for its cybersecurity programs that set the “gold standard” for vulnerability detection and threat remediation, but has struggled with its data center optimization efforts. DoD accounts for 40 percent of the Federal government’s IT spend. Stepping up to manage this portfolio in the midst of a pitch battle over JEDI and cloud migration will surely cause Deasy to quickly shake off any retirement rust. But, he’s no stranger to managing big IT budgets–JPMorgan’s annual IT budget stands toe to toe with the biggest Federal agency IT budgets, with the exception of one organization, DoD. With new leadership in place, you can certainly bank on change.

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Joe Franco
Joe Franco
Joe Franco is a Program Manager, covering IT modernization, cyber, and government IT policy for