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CHIPS Articles: Forward Movement in Streamlining Processes and Using Commercial Services

Forward Movement in Streamlining Processes and Using Commercial Services
Acting DON CIO Dr. John Zangardi describes ongoing IT modernization
By Dr. John Zangardi, Ph.D. - April-June 2015
In my first CIO column upon becoming the Acting DON CIO , I shared with you my desire for reducing administrative burden. In fact, by the time of that first column, I had already signed policy that standardized the documentation required to obtain Clinger-Cohen Act (CCA) confirmation for IT acquisitions. Iā€™m happy to say that the change has made obtaining CCA confirmation easier for many programs and enabled them to focus more of their limited resources on providing needed capability to our warfighters.

I also noted that I intended to undertake a review of the IT procurement request (ITPR) process. That effort is now well underway. A cross-functional team from Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy (Management) (DUSN (M)) Business Operations group, the DON CIO, and the Navy and Marine Corps staffs, joined to form the DON ITPR Working Group which developed a set of courses of action (COA). The team is currently developing a brief for leadership and will seek guidance on critical issues that will determine the ITPR assessment way ahead.

A second ITPR Workshop/Working Group will convene to create the final ITPR assessment, outline proposed changes to the IT Expenditure and Procurement approval processes, and assign lead offices to complete implementation.

Besides streamlining processes, I wrote of working to open the way for the DON to use commercial services whenever feasible, and we at DON CIO are busily engaged in developing policy, guidance, and tools to help data owners make informed decisions about commercial cloud services.

The DON has had a cloud presence for some time now, but updated guidance on acquisition and use of cloud services released by the DoD CIO last December changed the rules somewhat and we are moving as quickly as we can to make it easier to move to a cloud solution when a business case exists to do so. This spring, I expect to release a business case analysis template tailored for cloud that will assist data owners in determining if commercial cloud services are appropriate for their particular situations.

Another initiative to which I am devoting a lot of attention is the Program Executive Officer for Enterprise Information Systems effort to upgrade mobile device capabilities on the Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN) contract, which is the Navy's primary CONUS information technology services provider.

Servers capable of managing newer model smartphones and tablets, such as iPhones and iPads, are installed and operating in various stages of evaluation at four sites on the East and West coasts and Hawaii; additional servers are in the process of being installed at three more CONUS sites in mid-April.

During evaluation, the network is limited to enrolling a maximum of 2,000 new smartphone users, but by the end of April the Navy anticipates authorization to transition all NGEN Blackberry users to the new devices. The goal is to transition all NGEN Blackberry users to the new smartphones by the end of the calendar year.

I am excited about the changes we have underway to make IT work better for the Department of the Navy, and we will continue to look for more ways to provide capabilities that make it easier for Sailors, Marines, and the civilians that support them, to find and share information.

Dr. John Zangardi, Ph.D., Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Information Operations and Space Assistant Secretary of the Navy and Acting DON CIO
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