Telework, BYOD and DEOS

Telework made the idea of bringing your own device a top priority as the Defense Information Systems Agency begins transitioning to a permanent version of the commercial virtual remote environment.

laptop cloud concept (Andrey Suslov/

Bringing your own approved device has jumped to the front of the Defense Information Systems Agency's priorities thanks to the technology challenges and changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Steve Wallace, the systems innovation specialist for DISA's Emerging Technologies Directorate, said just six months ago the answer would've been different but bring your own approved device (BYOAD) is now "a very high priority."

That's due in large part to the increased telework status and ability with the Defense Department's commercial virtual remote (CVR) environment that is its own version of Microsoft Teams. But as DOD and DISA move to a permanent Microsoft Office 365 solution this summer, the need and demand for BYOAD is expected to increase.

"With the roll out of CVR and the success of CVR users and the fact that users are working differently with CVR it is driving us more quickly to BYOAD," Wallace said Jan. 14 during an AFCEA DC virtual event.

Wallace said DISA is going to prototype three technologies, two that already exist in DISA's mobility portfolio and one that's brand new, to speed up the process of making BYOAD a reality.

The Defense Department is also moving forward with plans to roll out a permanent version of its telework capability based on the Microsoft Teams environment this summer.

Brian Hermann, the director of DISA's Services Development Directorate, said the agency is the first to begin migrating to the permanent CVR capability called DOD365 as part of the Defense Enterprise Office Solutions contract.

That capability will extend to impact level 5 for non-classified work. The defense agencies and field activities, also known as the Fourth Estate, and combatant commands will be next in line to move to the permanent telework solution through the summer, the officials said.

"As we collaborated from DOD networks and from homes via the internet, we realized that some of our initial plans for DEOS were limited by the past vision that everybody would be connected through the DOD networks," Hermann said.

"But what we found is that many organizations had an insufficient amount of government furnished equipment, managed devices and we had to flex to make that happen."

Classified capabilities will come later, Hermann said.