To accelerate classified missions, the intelligence community (IC) needs greater access to talent with rare skills that are in high demand across the U.S. That’s why the IC is exploring novel ways to securely harness digital expertise in the marketplace—especially on contracted programs. The key is to give narrow software jobs on select programs to cutting-edge teams that are not yet cleared. These teams do discrete development tasks. They work in unclassified settings. The IC only tells them what they need to know. And they hand off work products to cleared teams who are read in. All this, in turn, enables the IC to deploy classified capabilities.
Creating this sort of hybrid workforce for multi-class operations yields many benefits for the IC. These include a larger workforce, more flexibility, more geographic distribution, greater ability to operate at scale, better resilience, and faster access to cutting-edge skills. What’s more, this model fits to a tee the post-pandemic world—where remote work reigns and job mobility is high.