December 9, 2010 By News Staff
Cloud computing, data center consolidation, and modular project management are pillars of a governmentwide IT reform plan from federal CIO Vivek Kundra released Thursday, Dec. 9.
The implementation plan’s 25 goals — slated to be put in place within six to 18 months — will reduce the number of federally run data centers from 2,100 to approximately 1,300, rectify or cancel one-third of troubled IT projects, and require federal agencies to adopt a “cloud first” strategy in which they will move at least one system to a hosted environment within a year.
“While the 25 points may not solve all federal IT challenges, they will address many of the most pressing, persistent challenges,” according to the document. “This plan requires a focus on execution and is designed to establish some early wins to garner momentum for our continued efforts.”
Efforts such as data center consolidation are intended to cut costs. The federal government has spent $600 billion on IT during the past decade, according to Kundra’s plan.
Other examples of planned initiatives include a marketplace developed by the Office of Management and Budget and the General Services Administration in which agencies will be able to share excess space in data centers. According to the plan, Kundra also will publish a strategy within the next six months to accelerate the adoption of cloud computing in federal government. Kundra also wants to work with Congress to fund projects in a manner that supports modular development and enables flexibility in budget models.
The plan would also create a specialized IT project management career path, identify technology acquisition best practices, and redefine the job roles of agency CIOs.
“Currently agency CIOs and the Federal CIO Council spend a majority of their mindshare on policymak¬ing and maintaining IT infrastructure. As we move forward with the IT reforms, CIO focus must shift towards portfolio management,” the plan says.
Kundra’s TechStat project management method — which convenes evidentiary reviews of projects that are behind schedule and/or over budget — will be brought down to and used at the department level.
“While IT projects throughout the government will always have risks, there are no excuses for spectacular failures. And while not all projects can be perfect, major errors must and will be caught early and addressed appropriately,” the plan says.
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