Chief Information Officer (CIO) Teri Takai detailed a 10-Point Plan for IT Modernization to meet the Department of Defense’s information technology challenges. The plan’s goal is to “enable agile, secure, efficient and effective IT for DoD.”
The plan outlines a set of approaches “to efficiently and effectively deliver agile, secure, integrated, and responsive IT capabilities.” The elements of the plan are divided into three objectives: Consolidate infrastructure, streamline processes, and strengthen the IT workforce.
Consolidating data centers and network operations is a major underpinning of DoD’s IT modernization plan. According to a progress report issued last November, data center consolidation will reduce costs, improve efficiency, and enhance business agility. Along with consolidation, DOD will move to standardize IT platforms by minimizing the use of “program-unique” platforms and ensuring that all platforms support a cyber-secure environment. Another aspect of the plan is to implement a strategy that ensures a secure cloud environment.
The modernization plan includes major efforts to streamline processes. It intends to strengthen governance by improving processes for how DoD makes IT decisions, develops strategies, and plans for investments. DoD will leverage strategic sourcing by implementing an enterprise approach for procuring common IT hardware and software. The plan will strengthen Cybersecurity by establishing a consistent enterprise cybersecurity architecture that is integrated into the DoD IT Enterprise Architecture. In addition, it will provide new guidelines for risk management and establish track metrics. The plan will strengthen IT investments by developing an IT Investment Management program to examine the full IT investment portfolio, aligning IT investments to strategies by annually reviewing system performance and funding execution, and by routinely reviewing the performance of major IT investments.
In conjunction with DOD’s overall acquisition workforce improvements, the plan includes efforts to strengthen the IT workforce. A major objective is to develop a robust IT acquisition community, especially recognizing people who effectively use Agile IT practices. Ongoing workforce initiatives will be leveraged by aligning IT modernization with the IT Acquisition Workforce Strategic Plan.
The benefits of IT modernization are expected to be achieved throughout DOD. According to the CIO, successful implementation of DoD’s IT modernization plan will: 1) increase DoD’s mission effectiveness; 2) strengthen cyber security; 3) improve the outcomes of IT acquisition; 4) deliver capabilities faster; 5) improve interoperability; and 6) save billions of dollars.