The question from the 1984 Ghostbusters film — “Who ya gonna call?” — is a loaded one around here. One of my jobs as the director of the Command, Control and Interoperability Division at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Directorate for Science and Technology is to ensure that our heroes — emergency responders — can talk to one another. The buzzword is interoperability. I hear it daily, and there’s no question it’s critically important.
There’s also no doubt in my mind that interoperable technologies already exist. Of course, we can spend years making them better, faster and more powerful than ever before, but here’s the reality: We can buy technology that meets most of our needs now, while we continue to work on making the better stuff available. However, before we can begin implementing the technology, we must face a bigger issue: cultural differences. (GovTech)