HHS Releases IT Strategic Plan for FY 2021 – FY 2023

Published: June 30, 2021

Federal Market AnalysisHHSInformation Technology

HHS’ Office of the CIO recently released a new IT strategic plan which defines five strategic goals and nineteen objectives meant to drive greater agility, security, and effectiveness for the department.

HHS’s former CIO, Perryn Ashmore, quietly released a new HHS IT Strategic Plan for FY 2021 – FY 2023 in May prior to his retirement at the end of the month.

The 25-page plan draws from lessons learned during the pandemic and is informed by “mission needs, emerging technology, and workforce trends.”  The plan was developed in collaboration with IT professionals from HHS Operating Divisions and the HHS Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO). The document will guide HHS's efforts to deliver reliable, secure, and high-quality data and technology to support the department’s mission.

The mission and vision of the plan are as follows:

The following guiding principles will shape IT activities across HHS and provide a mutual awareness of how IT leaders strive to operate and create value for the department.

HHS’ IT strategic plan will help the department address a number of business challenges:

  • The digital workplace drives a need for enhanced cybersecurity
  • The evolving IT workforce challenges traditional employee management norms
  • The shifting role of the IT organization drives enterprise collaboration, agility, and flexibility

The plan will also position HHS to enhance core IT capabilities in light of the current technology landscape:

  • Emerging technologies drive transformation and enhance mission outcomes
  • Modernizing legacy technology creates cost savings, streamlines processes, and improves capabilities
  • Data fuels better decisions, enhances collaboration, and improves mission delivery

Through HHS OCIO and Operating Division collaboration, the department will concentrate on five core goals and associated objectives to reach specific results.  Strategic goals are as follows:

HHS will optimize the IT organization by focusing on recruitment, hiring, onboarding, training, and retention. Using a holistic approach to accelerating technology modernization and embracing innovation across HHS, will help the enterprise adapt to a changing nation and meet frequently evolving customer needs. In order to enhance data and interoperability across the department. HHS will focus on the democratization of data by shifting from a “need to know” mentality to a “responsibility to share” mentality. Improved IT management and governance will enable HHS to deliver services faster, realize significant cost savings, improve compliance, and make data-driven decisions with greater ease. Strengthening HHS cybersecurity will continue to be a priority and will enable HHS to have greater operational visibility; enhance the sharing of mission-critical information in real-time; reduce vulnerability to future cybersecurity threats; improve compliance with FISMA; and increase agency resilience from crises such as COVID-19 and other threats.

The OCIO will champion implementation of the IT strategic plan across the organization. Next steps for the OCIO include developing an implementation plan, establishing a governance structure, launching initiative teams, and managing and communicating change.