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DOI’s $10 Billion in Cloud Contracts: It’s a Ceiling, Not a Promise

The recent Foundation Cloud Services award for from the Department of Interior (DOI) stands to shell out as much as $10 billion to ten companies for cloud computing adoption. The high ceiling value of the awards has attracted a lot of attention. While the strategic effort underscores the agency’s focus on changing their IT operations, the potential value may not reflect the investment Interior will be making.
 
According to the FY 2012 Annual Report from DOI’s CIO, the cloud contract awards will support a number of different initiatives:
The Foundation Cloud Service Contract will streamline access to commercial cloud services in support of the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative (FDCCI), the Federal Cloud-First policy, the DOI Information Technology Transformation (ITT) Initiative, as well as emerging system owner demand for application and data hosting services. This contract will provide an attractive alternative to purchasing and maintaining hardware and software. Additionally, it will help improve “speed to market” for developing and modernizing applications by providing our developers and system owners with access to computing and storage resources on demand.
 
In short, transitioning the data and applications housed in more than 400 data centers, rooms, and closets to the cloud will improve the operating efficiency of DOI as well as supporting FDCCI goals. In a recent blog, Andrew Jackson, Interior’s Deputy Assistant for Technology, Information and Business Service, wrote:
The approach we've chosen also allows us to speed up our acquisition process, which in turn allows us to leverage this technology more quickly. We can now make our data and applications more accessible to the public, and to DOI employees across the country. We'll also be able to provide a wider variety of services, security solutions, and support than we currently do. 
 
The Foundation Cloud Services awards target a variety of cloud computing services, including storage, secure file transfer, virtual machine, database, web hosting, and a development and testing environment. These initial service offerings address the agency’s most urgent requirements and will be the building blocks for future service developments. To this end, ten different vendors were selected for the IDIQ awards, listed below.
 

 
 
Individual projects are expected to be competed among the awardees and assigned via task order. One of the aims of compiling a pool of ten vendors is to produce more competitive and innovative offerings. The first task order was awarded in June to Unisys for migrating DOI’s Financial and Business Management System (FBMS) to the cloud. Under the $44 million arrangement, the transition will occur over the next eight years, helping to reduce the costs of the enterprise resource planning system (ERP).
 
Budget Environment
Under recent budget pressure across the federal IT market, we’ve seen reductions in contracts, increased performance scrutiny, and more judiciousness around investment decisions. Although DOI’s total discretionary budget request for FY 2014 amounted to $11.4 billion, less than a tenth of which goes toward IT, contractor addressable spending that’s decreased in recent years. The current budget environment suggests these spending patterns are likely to endure for some time.
 
Although it does not capture the entirety of the agency’s IT spending, Department of Interior’s 2014 IT budget totals $1012.9 million. The department completed business cases for forty-five major programs with a combined total of $974.15 million, just over 96 percent of the amount accounted for in the IT budget. Of those funds for major programs, approximately 61.2 percent is directed to either operations and maintenance (O&M) or development, modernization, and enhancement (DME). Also, fourteen of those major programs, totaling around $85.8 million in FY 2014 spending, are expected to conclude by 2018. Starting with a relatively modest IT budget, DOI expects expediting their move to the cloud to save DOI $100 million annually from 2016 to 2020. Unless, DOI foregoes legacy system operations in favor of devoting all of their IT budget to cloud adoption, it unlikely that these contracts will approach their ceilings.
 
Originally published for Federal Industry Analysis: Analysts Perspectives Blog. Stay ahead of the competition by discovering more about GovWinIQ. Follow me on twitter @FIAGovWin.

It’s worth noting that only four of these vendors have completed the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) process and received authority to operation (ATO) from the FedRAMP Joint Authorization Board. These vendors are AT&T, Autonomic Resources, CGI Federal, and Lockheed Martin. All of the accredited offerings are for Infrastructure as a Service models.

Oversight Subcommittee and GAO Urge OMB and Agencies to Better Manage IT Investments

A late July House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee hearing on Federal Data Centers and Cloud garnered much press recently, especially in light of GAO’s proclamation that there are actually over 7,000 data centers, more than double original inventory counts.

Although the title of the hearing emphasized federal data center consolidation and cloud usage, testimonies and questions from subcommittee members aimed at addressing overall management and oversight of federal IT initiatives.  The subcommittee heard testimony from David Powner, GAO’s Director of Information Technology Management Issues; Steve VanRoekel, Federal CIO and OMB’s Acting Deputy Director for Management; and David McClure, GSA’s Associate Administrator in the Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies.

Powner’s testimony highlighted a number of areas for improvement in IT investment management, but also gave credit to several OMB initiatives that have produced positive results over the last three years.

Positive Results

  • Creation of the IT Dashboard
  • Implementation of TechState Reviews
  • Launch of the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative (FDCCI)
  • Implementation of PortfolioStat Reviews    

Needs Improvement

  • Accuracy and reliability of cost and schedule data in the IT Dashboard
  • Validation of cost savings from TechStat to date
  • Implement TechStat for all investments with moderately-high or high-risk rating.  (Currently only evaluating 33%)
  • Track and report on key performance measures for the FDCCI and improve oversight mechanisms
  • Determine whether agencies are completing key actions related to PortfolioStat and the incorporation of FDCCI into the process.

Powner stated, “Information technology should enable government to better serve the American people. However, according to OMB, despite spending more than $600 billion on IT over the past decade, the federal government has achieved little of the productivity improvements that private industry has realized from IT.”  GAO’s investigation of the IT Dashboard showed 154 investments at risk, totaling $10.4 billion.   

Oversight Subcommittee members agreed and asked pointed questions of those testifying and why the current tools and oversight programs are not producing better results.  Subcommittee Chair Rep. Mica asked Powner where we were now on server utilization.  Powner stated that server utilization is not being monitored now.  Rep. Mica also stated that GSA was setting a poor example for data center consolidation having only closed one data center to date, with over 100 non-core data centers in existence.  Rep. Meadows asked McClure how GSA planned to close 37 data centers in the next two months, when they only managed to close one in the three year existence of the FDCCI program.  

Rep. Mica closed the hearing on a more positive note by telling the panelists that the subcommittee was going to figure out a way to give them all the tools they need to help get the job done.  He also encouraged GAO to keep up the good work of monitoring federal agencies and programs, and bringing issues to light that need attention. 

 

 

 

 

Federal CIO Council Restructures

The federal Chief Information Officer (CIO) council is reorganizing to support federal IT priorities: Innovate, Deliver, and Protect. Specific projects will be managed by committees aligned to technology focus areas like program governance, technology adoption, and security.
 
 

 
 
Each of the three committees targets a priority area for federal information technology.
 
 
·            The Information Security and Identity Management Committee (ISIMC) provides a collaborative forum for agency CIOs and Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) to identify and develop policy recommendations for high-priority security and identity management initiatives.  This committee will be led by Rob Carey, the deputy CIO for the Defense Department, and Luke McCormack, the Justice Department CIO.
 
·            The Innovation Committee will work to enable a 21st century government through the use of new technologies for delivering digital services, deploying mobile technology, exploring modular IT development strategies, and leveraging federal data as a strategic resource. Reportedly, this group will support open data initiatives. This committee will be led by Casey Coleman, the General Services Administration's CIO, and Margie Graves, the Homeland Security Department's acting CIO.
 
·            The Portfolio Management Committee will focus on agency-wide best practices for governance and management processes, optimization of commodity IT resources, adoption of shared services platforms, and enterprise architecture. This committee will be led by Interior Department CIO Bernie Mazer and Bob Brese, the Energy Department's CIO.
 
Along with these committees, the council will work with task forces for data center consolidation and shared services. These task forces will support the sharing and disseminating of best practices and lessons learned across agencies from the two government-wide initiatives. Comprised of data center program managers, facilities managers, and sustainability officers, the Data Center Consolidation Task Force will work to progress towards the government’s consolidation goals. To support these goals, the task force will be working on data center metrics to incorporate into PortfolioStat conversations. The Shared Services Task Force will bring together agency shared service representatives to promote the use of inter-agency shared services for commodity IT, support and mission services.
 
This restructuring is the first of this extent in several years. And the move comes as the council is positioning itself to be more engaged with other CXO councils and across the federal community.
 
Originally published for Federal Idustry Analysis: Analysts Perspectives Blog. Stay ahead of the competition by discovering more about GovWinIQ. Follow me on twitter @FIAGovWin.

The five council committees will consolidate into three main ones, which will work with two task forces and support information exchange activities for several self-organizing communities of practice.

Federal Data Center Consolidation or Conundrum?

Over three years into the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative (FDCCI) and there still are no official count of data centers, publicly available end-state goals by agency, or well-established method for measuring savings.

First there were roughly 2,100 data centers.  Then there were 3,000. Now there are 6,000.  Are data centers wildly multiplying?  I think it’s safe to say that they are not.  However, the definition of a data center is a moving target, which makes it impossible to count them or to establish reduction goals related to the actual number of data centers.

Additionally, the focus of FDCCI has shifted to data center optimization versus data center closures or reductions, and it has moved to the PortfolioStat program for continued monitoring and reporting.

The original goal of FDCCI was to accomplish the following:  

  • Promote the use of Green IT by lowering the energy and real estate footprint of government data centers  
  • Reduce the cost of data center hardware, software, and operations  
  • Shift IT investments to more efficient computing platforms and technologies  
  • Increase the overall IT security posture of the government

In that sense, the number of data centers and the number of data center closures are irrelevant except as they relate to the real estate footprint. Optimization efforts still meet the intent of the initiative and the spirit of OMB’s original mandates.

Historically, federal data center consolidation initiatives have only garnered minor success.  Under the Clinton administration in 1995, OMB embarked on another data center consolidation effort with the goal of reducing the government’s 200 data centers to only 50, with projected savings in operational costs of 30-50%.  Treasury, DISA and a few other agencies made progress, but the total number of federal data centers actually skyrocketed between 1998 and 2010. 

Agencies still face a number of obstacles and challenges today as they implement data center consolidation, such as:  

  • An unrealistic timeline  
  • Technical obstacles  
  • Lack of funding  
  • Cultural and political challenges

Even so, agencies are plugging away at consolidation efforts and achieving some success.  But in my opinion, FDCCI would reach its goals more rapidly if requirements were clearly established for determining the number of data centers, measuring savings, and reaching clear end-state goals for each agency.

 

 

 

Agencies Reach 34% of Data Center Consolidation Goals

The 24 agencies participating in the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative (FDCCI) have achieved close to 34% of their goals for the number of data center closures. However, despite this progress, it appears that agencies will not hit the 2015 target. On top of that challenge, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has yet to assess agency efforts in terms of cost savings.
 
The consolidation initiative set a target to close 1,253 of the 3,133 federal data centers (roughly 40%). planned data center to be closed. By the end of December 2012, agencies had closed over 400 data centers. Close to another 400 are planned to be closed by the end of September 2013, followed by another 150 before the end of 2015. Despite this progress, it looks as though they’ll fall short of the target goals by over 280 closures.

According to testimony delivered to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, OMB has not identified a consistent and repeatable method for measuring agency savings resulting from data center consolidation efforts. While agency data center consolidation will be reported to OMB as part of PortfolioStat reviews, agencies would provide information through an information resources management strategic plan, an enterprise roadmap, and a data collection channel. This shift removes the previous requirement for agencies to submit consolidation plans and it does not call out cost savings goals. PortfolioStat is expected to result in $2.5 billion in savings through 2015 but it’s unclear whether a new savings goal has been established for FDCCI.
 
Agencies were tasked with a goal of achieving $3 billion in savings through data center consolidation by 2015. When agencies reported expected cost savings in their 2011 consolidation plans, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that collectively agencies expected to save $2.4 billion by 2015, but they noted that the projections were incomplete and unreliable. At that time, many agencies were still completing inventories and identifying additional targets for closure. Since closing facilities are a major driver for the savings associated with these efforts, it’s likely that the full extent of savings will not be realized until after 2015. As of November 2012, savings were not being tracked but thought to be minimal, due to the upfront investments for new facilities and upgraded systems and reinvestment of savings into ongoing consolidation efforts. Currently, a timeframe has not been established for when tracking cost savings may begin.
 
 
Originally published for Federal Idustry Analysis: Analysts Perspectives Blog. Stay ahead of them competition by discovering more about GovWinIQ. Follow me on twitter @FIAGovWin.

Highlights of the President’s FY2014 Budget Request

Today President Obama delivered a $3.8 trillion spending plan to Congress which includes a $1.2 trillion request in discretionary funding levels and nearly $82 billion for information technology for FY2014.  The budget focuses on jobs creation, economic growth and to strengthen the American middle class.

The budget proposal also includes $1.8 trillion in additional deficit reduction measures over 10 years to reach a total deficit reduction of $4.3 trillion.   The proposed deficit actions would reduce the deficit to 2.8%of GDP by 2016.

Additionally, the budget proposes $400 billion in cuts to health programs including Medicare.  Savings and cuts would come from negotiating better prescription drug prices, fighting waste and fraud, and requiring the wealthiest seniors to pay more.

The table below shows the FY2013 enacted budget levels and the proposed FY2014 levels.

 

Other budget highlights:

  • Includes $50 billion for upfront infrastructure investments to invest in repairs to highways, bridges, airports, transit systems, and to encourage innovative infrastructure projects 
  • Invests in in education reforms and training with a commitment to early childhood education
  • Simplifies the tax code and raises $580 billion for deficit reduction by limiting tax benefits, but not raising tax rates
  • Creates new “ladders of opportunity” to ensure that hard work leads to a decent living by developing pathways to jobs and partnering with communities to rebuild after the recession 
  • Includes $200 billion in savings from other mandatory programs, such as reductions to farm subsidies and reforms to retirement benefits 
  • Proposes $200 billion in discretionary savings from both defense and non-defense programs 
  • Offers $230 billion in savings from changes in the way the government calculates inflation for annual cost-of-living adjustments for benefits programs

Information Technology

The president’s budget proposes nearly $82 billion in IT funding, a 1.8% increase from the FY 2013 CR and a 2.1% increase over FY 2012 estimated level.

IT-related budget highlights:

  • $575 million in savings is anticipated from DoD Data Center Closures. 
  • $324 million is being cut from the DoD’s Global Hawk UAV program. 
  • $22 million is being cut from Computer and Information Science and Engineering Research Programs at the National Science Foundation; CISE is the organization responsible for promoting R&D on big data.  NSF’s budget takes big hits for its small size, which will affect grant spending on technology R&D.  
  • $81 million is being cut from the DoD’s Precision Tracking and Space System, which is part of Ballistic Missile Defense at the Missile Defense Agency. 
  • $38 million in savings related to the Joint Polar Satellite System is anticipated at the Department of Commerce. 
  • $29 million in savings is anticipated from IRS Business Systems Modernization at the Treasury. 

All told, the president’s budget request includes 215 cuts, consolidations, and savings proposals, which according to the administration, are projected to save more than $25 billion in FY2014.  The budget proposal outlines the administration’s priorities and proposed methods for generating more revenue, cutting costs, and reducing the deficit.  However, it joins competing budget plans in the House and Senate.  Serious Capitol Hill budget negotiations are not likely to take place until this summer.

 

 

 

 

Updated FITARA Legislation Strengthens Some Proposed Reforms and Waters Down Others

The updated Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), first proposed by Congressman Darryl Issa (R-CA) in September, now incorporates suggestions and comments from industry which strengthen the role of CIO, but limit requirements for centralized IT purchasing.

By some estimates, the legislation could save taxpayers as much as $20 billion annually by fundamentally reforming the way federal agencies purchase IT.  If passed, the FITARA would be the most significant reform to the IT acquisition landscape since the 2002 E-Government Act and the 1996 Clinger Cohen Act, which created the agency CIO function.  

Below is a brief summary of the updated legislation:

The Act would give more responsibility to agency CIOs by making them presidential appointees or designees, granting them greater budget authority and limiting agencies to one CIO for the whole agency; bureaus, offices, and subordinate agency organizations could not have their own CIO.

The updated bill promotes the use of “fixed price technical competition” or “bid to price” contracts, in which agencies would specify the price they planned to pay for IT products and/or services and contractors would compete to offer the best solution or service at that price.

After backlash from acquisition experts, the legislation was modified to eliminate plans for a government-wide IT Acquisition Center fearing that it might duplication services already provided by GSA.  Instead, the bill now calls for the establishment of the Federal Infrastructure and Common Application Collaboration Center to develop centralized program and technical management expertise to coordinate IT acquisition best practices.  The new Collaboration Center located within OMB, will assist agencies with challenging IT projects and support the CIO Council with TechStat reviews.

Congressman Issa plans to formally introduce the updated legislation soon.  According to NextGov, the legislation was likely discussed at a March 20th House Oversight and Government Reform Committee business meeting. 

Originally published for Federal Industry Analysis: Analysts Perspectives Blog. Stay ahead of the competition by discovering more about GovWin FIA. Follow on twitter @FIAGovWin.

 

 

 

 

Is Data Center Consolidation Actually Gaining Steam?

Could consolidation of federal data centers actually be gaining steam?  Extracts from data.gov on the number of planned data center closures indicate that the total planned shutdowns are increasing over time.

 

Measuring federal data center consolidation progress has become quite complicated.  When Vivek Kundra launched the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative (FDCCI), agencies counted nearly 2100 data centers and developed plans to close 800 of them.  When Steve VanRoekel took the helm as federal CIO, he declared a new definition of a data center, bringing the total number of data centers to approximately 2900 with new goals to close 1200. 

 

A recent extract from data.gov indicates that agencies plan to close 315 data centers in FY2013.  That number seemed high to me.  So, I pulled out a previous extract that I pulled back in July and discovered that planned FY2013 closures from that date were only 197.  The chart below shows on an agency by agency basis the difference between the number of FY2013 planned closures from the two data.gov extracts.

According to the data, the Department of Defense decided to close an additional 44 data centers this fiscal year, Homeland Security an additional 22, and the Department of Justice an additional 13.

 

Why the huge disparity in the number of planned closures?   I can only wager a guess that the difference lies in the definition of a data center.  I would suspect that agencies revised their inventory counts of data centers and subsequently revised their number of planned closures upwards.  Under Kundra’s definition, a data center had to be at least 500 square feet, but under the new definition adopted by VanReokel a data center is

 

“a closet, room, floor or building for the storage, management, and dissemination of data and information. Such a repository houses computer systems and associated components, such as database, application, and storage systems and data stores.' A data center generally includes redundant or backup power supplies, redundant data communications connections, environmental controls (air conditioning, fire suppression, etc.) and special security devices housed in leased (including by cloud providers), owned, collocated, or stand-alone facilities. Under this revised definition, neither square footage nor Uptime Institute tier classifications are required to define a facility

as a data center.” 

 

I suspect as agencies make quarterly updates to data.gov regarding closure plans, they are also discovering and making plans to close smaller data centers not originally identified in the first inventorying effort under Kundra.

 

To validate my suspicions, reviewing updated agency FDCCI plans would be helpful.  However, updated consolidation plans submitted by agencies to OMB at the end of FY2012 have not been released to the public to date.

 

As stated by Steve VanRoekel before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform last week, “In essence, we are going to optimize and close data centers by shifting resources of one to other ones – to more efficient data centers- not taking away certain services, not depreciating any service we provide.”  VanRoekel indicated that data center consolidation is more about optimization than it is about data center counts.

 

I agree, but to date it has been difficult to quantify much of the data center consolidation process or its total savings.   This issue was also raised by David Powner of GAO during the same House Oversight hearing.  “Ultimately, it’s about getting to the point where we’re saving money, and that’s where there hasn’t been a lot of transparency at the moment in data center consolidation,” state Powner.  According to Powner, the only agency to proclaim projected savings has been DoD with $2.2 billion in savings due to its consolidation efforts.

 

Expect agencies to continue to consolidate data centers by moving applications and systems to the cloud, implementing shared services, and offloading work and applications to other, more efficient data centers.  And savings will be realized.  But don’t expect savings amounts to be clear or the method for counting the number of closures to remain consistent.

 

 

Shared services: A compelling model for government business

Deltek is pleased to present a guest blog on cloud computing from Microsoft. Over the next year, the General Government Services team will be looking to partner with leading vendors in the fields of cloud computing, enterprise resource planning software, student and teacher information systems, statewide longitudinal educational data systems and other core technologies tracked in the GovWin IQ Opportunities Database. Special thanks to Joel Cherkis and Michele Bedford Thistle for contributing their valuable insight and opinions regarding cloud computing.
 
If you are interested in guest blogging for Deltek in the topics mentioned above, reach out to DerekJohnson@deltek.com for more information! Meanwhile, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn!
 
By Joel Cherkis, Government General Manager, Microsoft
 
As public sector organizations around the world seek to cut costs in response to economic and budget pressures, many are looking for new strategies to deliver on their missions. Adding to this challenge is that amid shrinking budgets and resources, more than ever, citizens are demanding services from government that rival the best and most innovative in the consumer world.
 
In this era of doing more with less, shared services – a new computing model made possible by the cloud – is rapidly gaining popularity in government. It refers to taking a service, application, or infrastructure owned by one organization and sharing it via the cloud with multiple parties, either within the same organization or adjacent ones. Analyst firm IDC Government Insights predicts that in 2013, shared services will account for 18 percent of the government cloud market and will offer new ways of procuring and provisioning technology.
 
The benefits of this model are clear. By combining the IT resources of departments, agencies, and even various levels of government, public sector organizations collectively stand to realize enormous cost savings by eliminating the need to independently own and manage their own IT resources. There are also important opportunities to boost efficiency by consolidating IT resources and maximizing the use of underutilized applications and services by opening them to a broader set of stakeholders. With this new model also comes greater access to innovation, particularly for local government leaders who, despite limited budgets, can now access the latest technologies by collectively sharing the cost. 
 
A great example of an organization that’s taken advantage of shared services in the cloud is Staffordshire County Council in the U.K., which created the Staffordshire Public Sector Network (PSN) to enable public sector organizations in the area to securely share services over a common network. As a result, the council is now able to deliver a pricing model based on usage of cloud services, maximize its current IT investments, and better predict future IT needs because of its new approach.
 
Shared services offers an exciting new model for government, and stands to change the way that public sector organizations use and procure technology. By fully leveraging economies of scale, shared services can help governments maximize their investments in technology, improve utilization of existing resources, and expand access to innovation by sharing the cost of adopting the latest technologies. As organizations continue facing challenging budget environments, I believe this will drive even more governments to adopt a shared services approach. If you’d like to learn more, I encourage you to check out our Microsoft On Government blog, which frequently covers this topic.
 
To learn more about cloud computing procurement in the state and local marketplace, be sure to check out Deltek’s 2012 report, “Creating the Hybrid Cloud,” by research analyst Derek Johnson (subscription required).

Arizona Releases Statewide Strategic IT Plan For 2013 To Improve Efficiencies

The Arizona Strategic Enterprise Technology (ASET) Office has released a Statewide Strategic IT plan for fiscal 2013 which builds on Governor Janice Brewer’s agenda by leveraging technology to enable a “more innovative, efficient, and sustainable government.”
In July 2011, Arizona’s Government Information Technology Agency merged with the Arizona Department of Administration’s Information Services Division to form the ASET Office, which now develops and executes the statewide IT strategy, while providing capabilities, services and infrastructure to ensure the continuity of mission critical and essential systems for the state.
As part of the Statewide Strategic IT Plan, which was developed in conjunction with the Governor’s Office, eight transformational initiatives were identified, defined and scoped to develop the strategic plan for 2013. These initiatives are expected to have a significant impact on the state as a whole - ensuring the business continuity and security of statewide assets, while providing citizens with the ability to access state services anywhere, any time.
Below, we highlight each of the initiatives which encompass the strategic plan for 2013, and detail how these will help the state moving forward:
1.     Implement a Continuous Improvement Culture - As part of the Governor’s commitment to reform state government, the Government Transformation Office (GTO) was established within the Department of Administration to implement a statewide continuous improvement program focused on education, process improvement projects, and capital impact.
 
Moving forward, Arizona will coordinate with the GTO to adopt improved and efficient policies and procedures. This coordinated effort will result in automating policies and procedures that are free of waste and inefficiency.  With an emphasis on service excellence and customer centricity, Centers of Excellence will be established throughout the state, which will offer recognition and reinforcement to best practices, while providing an opportunity for continued shared learning, as well as a continuous improvement culture.
 
2.     Accelerate Statewide Enterprise Architecture Adoptions and Asset Management - Over the past year, Arizona has made significant progress on the adoption of a statewide Enterprise Architecture (EA) strategy and framework. An EA advisory committee was established, a charter was developed and ratified, and an EA framework was selected. Accelerating this planning methodology throughout the state will result in “a more agile, efficient organization with more effective decision-making capabilities.”
 
As part of the EA expansion, Arizona will start with an assessment of technology contracts, infrastructure and applications. It will also begin to define and adopt a statewide Data Governance Model to improve the quality and accessibility of information. Together, these
capabilities will accelerate the business decision-making process, streamline the planning and procurement of statewide assets, and reduce the overall cost of doing business.
 
3.     Implement A New Statewide Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Solution - In January 2012, Governor Brewer addressed her plan for operational reform. The state’s accounting system which is a central operational system for the state’s employees, customers, and vendors is an outdated system with antiquated software and no external support. When the system fails, the consequences will span beyond the state and will ultimately impact our schools, businesses, and community. Therefore, Arizona plans to implement a statewide ERP system that will replace the Arizona Financial Information System (AFIS) and a number of other central and agency-specific administrative systems. It will also provide new administrative system functionality that will benefit the entire state. The benefits from replacing this outdated system will be more efficient and effective business processes, better informed and faster decision making, and improved business continuity.
 
4.     Expand E-government and Mobility Capabilities - In order to fulfill its vision, Arizona will begin to develop a statewide web platform to provide agencies with full content management functionality, mobile compatibility, and user identity management. Ultimately, this will allow agencies to deliver services faster, more consistently and securely, and to any device utilized by its citizens.
 
The state web portal (www.az.gov) is the gateway to Arizona, which contains invaluable information about how citizens work, live, play, and interact with state government. A collaborative approach with key stakeholders will be established to modernize the state web portal by developing a new design, adding new capabilities, and making it easier for citizens to access state services.
 
5.     Implement Critical Business Continuity Improvements at the State Data Center - The State Data Center currently houses technology systems that are mission critical to the continuity of business. There are more than 140 state entities that leverage the data center’s infrastructure, services, and capabilities. Ensuring these systems are operational and secure is absolutely critical to the functions of the state. Arizona will begin initiatives to upgrade critical aspects of the facility itself, ensure redundancy and continuity of critical systems, and increase capacity to support the growing number of agency customers.
 
In addition to upgrading the current environment, Arizona will also facilitate the foundation of a cloud-computing environment by beginning to build a comprehensive virtualization infrastructure. By providing capabilities such as self-provisioning, service monitoring, and capacity management, the state will begin to provide state agencies with a cost-effective model for moving to “the cloud.” This will also allow for an improved way to plan and manage the cost of IT. Moving IT costs from a capital expenditure (CAPEX) to an operational expenditure (OPEX) model will result in a consistent sustainable model that will improve IT cost planning.
 
6.     Implement a New Statewide Infrastructure & Communications Network -The AZNet program was established several years ago to ensure Arizona has a cost effective, efficient and consolidated shared telecommunications infrastructure to meet the needs of government agencies, their employees and the public. The next generation of the program is in progress to refresh the current infrastructure. This refresh will be an expansion of the central ring, which will extend out network capabilities to agencies that are currently unable to receive services on the state network. Ultimately, this program will provide improved business continuity, reduced costs, and improved connectivity.
 
Additionally, the Digital Arizona program is playing an active strategic role in changing the definition of infrastructure and addressing middle-mile issues throughout the state of Arizona. The impact of this program is far reaching and will benefit education, economic development, public safety, and healthcare.
 
7.     Enhance Statewide Security and Privacy Capabilities and Training - Protecting citizen data, as well as the privacy of state employees, are of the highest priority for state agencies. Due to the sensitivity of government data, the state’s environment of diverse technologies and data sources requires adoption of robust and effective operational security and privacy programs.
 
As part of this initiative, Arizona will strengthen cyber security and privacy operations by supporting essential cyber-security technologies and continuing the implementation of a single-sign-on solution for all state employees. In addition, Arizona will optimize incident reporting and deploy an enterprise log aggregation solution for real-time threat detection and notification. Lastly, the state will strengthen cyber-security awareness by providing state employees with training on security and privacy policies, standards, and procedures that are essential to preventing security and privacy incidents.
 
8.     Streamline Project Oversight, Improve Transparency and Strengthen Project Management - To truly transform state government, it’s critical that Arizona clearly defines its project deliverables and executes with precision. This requires a level of maturity in several areas including program and project management, as well as oversight. In addition, Arizona must improve efficiency, increase transparency and escalate accountability in the state’s project oversight process.
 
Leveraging the GTO and lean principles, Arizona plans to simplify the Project Investment Justification (PIJ) document and streamline the process from end to end. Through automation, Arizona will provide agencies with the ability to self-report and provide more accurate, current, historical, and aggregate reporting capabilities.
Our Take:
Overall, Arizona’s Statewide Strategic IT Plan outlines the various steps and investments the state is planning to make for fiscal 2013. As part of this IT transformation, Deltek expects opportunities in the areas of IT refresh, systems integration, communications, cybersecurity and IT services to arise as a result of these strategic initiatives.
Looking ahead, interested contractor’s should use Arizona’s past strategic IT projects to create business development justifications for IT solutions that will allow the state to accomplish its goals of creating greater efficiencies, while providing an innovative, sustainable government.

 

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