COMC4EI is the Italian Army’s unit in charge of management, development, maintenance, and security of network infrastructures and information systems and services. It supports more than 100,000 users of various systems and software, and reports directly to the VI C4I Systems Department of the Army General Staff.
As with any organization, digitization has brought new opportunities but also new challenges for the Italian Army. Among these are:
1. the modernization of infrastructures and applications, especially those focused on accelerating application delivery
2. the harmonization of user experience across applications built in different periods and made with different technologies, as well as complying with AgID (Agenzia Italia Digitale) guidelines
3. the adoption of a platform that provides basic tools to build applications and also allows custom tailoring and ad hoc coding standards for the Italian Army, that both internal teams and external suppliers could work with
As part of a wider modernization process, we started with the “application heart” of the Italian Army. We integrated a frontend site and two existing service portals created with different technologies, into a single access point that plays the role of an application desktop.
Accessible like an Intranet, the new portal has a free-access information section and a reserved area with secure mode, where the army staff can connect to different services.
For entry to the reserved sections and services, we created a Single Sign On (SSO) system; a user who authenticates with the CMD (Defense Multiservice Card) is recognized both from the Digital Identity System and from the new portal based on the Entando platform. In this way, the army can manage a track users’ access activities in compliance with current legislation. This functionality was achieved by creating a specific Entando widget that works as a connector between the Entando interfaces, the authentication and authorization systems, and the underlying applications.
Results and benefits
- Knowledge and control of the code, thanks to Entando’s Open-Source technology
- Simplified user experience in accessing the portal contents and services
- Possibility of reusing components and widgets developed for other new applications, under an internal marketplace framework
- Creation of a universal standard for all future applications of the Italian Army
- Accelerated and improved application design and development
- Broad-spectrum Open-Source integration, starting with Red Hat technologies