The Number of NASA IT Strategic Goals Increases for FY 2018 - FY 2021

Published: June 06, 2018

Big DataCybersecurityInformation TechnologyIT ReformIT WorkforceNASA

NASA releases the latest iteration of its IRM Strategic Plan for FY 2018 – 2021.

Under the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996, agencies are required to develop an information resources management plan that sets forth the IT direction for the near and long-term. NASA recently issued its latest IT strategic plan for FY 2018 – FY 2021 which includes five primary strategic goals towards its IT mission. While the previous plan, released in FY 2014, centered on goals including capabilities, cyber and sustainability, the current plan continues to focus on these areas with additional, increased emphasis on data, customer service and IT value.

Strategic Goal 1: Partner with customers to consistently deliver excellence and enable mission success.

The plan stresses the importance of customer service when it comes to NASA IT functions. Customers for the agency not only include NASA employees, but also contractors, academia, partners and the public. NASA’s plan to align its IT infrastructure and services with the needs of its customers include shifting from a device approach to a data access approach so that data can be obtained regardless of the device used. Moreover, the plan also highlights the use of data analytics to continually assess service performance and help NASA IT to proactively engage and communication with the agency community regarding service delivery or outages.

Strategic Goal 2: Capitalize on data management, access, and innovation.

The agency seeks to establish an enterprise-wide data standard to boost its data analytics capabilities and improve business insight and decision-making. Due to data stored in different locations throughout NASA, the agency is faced with difficulties in finding technical information and merging the data. To do this, the plan sets the goal of assessing various business analytics with a completed analysis due by the end of FY 2018.

Strategic Goal 3: Safeguard NASA’s data and IT assets.

With the increase of the type and number of cyber threats in today’s IT world, NASA sets its eyes in reducing the risk of loss, unauthorized disclosure of information and strengthening IT asset identification and mitigation. To do this, the agency is investing in projects that seek to improve encryption capabilities that include mobile devices and desktops. The agency is also seeking to implement a strong personal identity verification (PIV) authentication program on user workstations and services. To do this, the plan sets a goal of NASA attaining hardware and software asset management of 95% by the end of FY 2018, attaining 95% multi-factor authentication for non-privileged access to hardware and 90% multi-factor authentication for non-privileged access to user accounts.

Strategic Goal 4: Maximize business value by optimizing IT.

An optimized IT system will lead to capabilities that will align with NASA’s mission and business needs and increase cost savings and efficiency within the agency’s IT functions. To succeed in this, NASA plans to complete a phased implementation of an enterprise vendor management system by the end of FY 2020 and expand its use of strategic sourcing vehicles. Moreover, the plan lists a goal of identifying $50M in NASA-wide cost savings by the end of FY 2018 in order to increase the effectiveness of IT investment within the agency.

Strategic Goal 5: Care for our people today and prepare them for tomorrow.

Finally, the plan outlines several activities in order to invest more in its IT workforce and clear definitions of authority and accountability between IT and the agency. In addition to incentives, employee reward programs and improved recruiting, the plan sets a goal of establishing a list of critical IT position within all functional areas in order to begin setting standard qualifications and certifications for current positions by the end of FY 2018.