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The Definition of “Net-centric”

Last week, the Google Cloud Computing Group debated the definition of net-centric. The key thought was that net-centric was nothing more than internet-centric or basically “online” and therefore it really meant nothing. I kind of disagreed with that view and thought that I should repeat my thoughts here:

“In a true sense you’re right about the definition of net-centric. Truth, however, is in the eyes of your target audience. In the DoD, Homeland Security and Intelligence Community world, net-centric warfare and net-centric operations are not simply about the act of being on-line. It’s about applying the information you can glean from being on-line and applying that information to a specific situation.

The Net-Centric Environment is a framework for full human and technical connectivity and interoperability that allows all DOD users and mission partners to share the information they need, when they need it, in a form they can understand and act on with confidence, and protects information from those who should not have it. https://www.dtic.mil/futurejointwarfare/concepts/netcentric_jfc.pdf

Network Centric Operations (NCO) involves the development and employment of mission capability packages that are the embodiment of the tenets of Network Centric Warfare (NCW) in operations across the full mission spectrum. These tenets state that a robustly networked force improves information sharing and collaboration, which enhances the quality of information, the quality of awareness, and improves shared situational awareness. This results in enhanced collaboration and enables self-synchronization improving sustainability and increasing the speed of command, which ultimately result in dramatically increased mission effectiveness. …The tenets of NCW address these means and postulate how they can increase mission effectiveness. https://www.mors.org/meetings/oa_nco/oa_definition.htm

Our mission is to facilitate global realization of the benefit inherent in Network Centric Operations. To that end, we seek to enable continuously increasing levels of interoperability across the spectrum of joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational industrial and commercial operations. We will execute this mission in good faith as a global organization with membership open to all enterprises in quest of applying the vast potential of network centric technology to the operational challenges faced by our nations and their citizens. https://www.ncoic.org/about/mission_vision/

So while being connected is a requirement for net-centricity, that in itself is not sufficient to realize the possible benefits of net-centric operations. In some ways, our approach is to take internet connectivity as a given. Our focus is to ascertain and solve the barriers associated with realizing the results of internet connectivity. “

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