Building on DON Success; Meeting New Challenges

By Barbara Hoffman - Published, June 9, 2014

Ms. Barbara Hoffman, DON CIO (Acting)It has been a privilege to serve in leadership positions for the Department of the Navy Chief Information Officer, including as Director of both the E-business and Investment Management teams, Principal Deputy for two very talented DON CIOs, and now as the DON CIO (Acting). Our business IT environment has evolved dramatically over this timeframe, in technology advances as well as in operational and fiscal challenges.

With fiscal challenges reaching critical levels, the Under Secretary of the Navy designated the DON CIO as the department's IT/Cyberspace Efficiency Lead in 2010. Since that time, the DON CIO’s primary focus has been to achieve savings and efficiencies in business IT while ensuring uninterrupted support to the warfighter. We have taken bold and innovative steps to accomplish these objectives; steps that are already producing impressive results. For example:

  • From May 2012 through mid-April 2014, DON enterprise license agreements (ELAs) achieved savings of $60.3M across five ELAs, and we are on track to save even more over the next five years.
  • The DON CIO partnered with the Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center San Diego to begin centrally managing mobile devices. As a result, we have reduced our expenses by more than 20 percent and achieved $92 million in savings since the initiative began in May 2011.
  • The DON CIO partnered with the Defense Logistics Agency to launch an initiative to reduce costs associated with printing. We are transitioning away from stand-alone printers, fax machines, copiers, and scanners, and moving to multi-function devices. This initiative, which centrally manages these devices, identified cost savings estimated at $320M from FY15 – FY19.
  • A DON/Amazon Web Services (AWS) team developed an AWS-hosted portal for public facing websites for DON Secretariat organizations. This was an important step in the DON's efforts to leverage both commercial and government cloud service providers to meet mission requirements and achieve best value. The portal met all security requirements with a 66 percent cost reduction at that time.
  • Management and cost savings are also being achieved with enterprise tools. FOIAonline is a web-based tool, managed by the Environmental Protection Agency and used by several Federal agencies, that will provide a cost effective shared service that automates the tracking and reporting associated with FOIA processing. A DON enterprise-wide task management (TM) and records management (RM) system is in prototype design. The DON Tasking, Records, and Consolidated Knowledge Enterprise Repository (TRACKER) will provide one auditable and compliant RM and TM system for all DON shore-based commands and organizations.
Other initiatives are achieving similar success. The DON is on course to reduce the number of data centers by over 75 percent by the end of FY 2018. These closures and consolidation efforts will reduce DON costs and provide an enterprise approach to data center management that will result in operational efficiencies and improvements. In another effort, the DON CIO partnered with ASN (FM&C) to centralize oversight of IT expenditures. Designated authorities must now review and approve IT expenditures above a certain threshold before execution, which is reducing IT spend without impacting mission effectiveness.

These are just a few examples of the progress made by the DON team. Looking forward, the DON CIO will continue to pursue these efficiencies while exploring new areas for management and cost savings with enterprise plans and tools. Additionally, the DON CIO will also ensure we remain supportive of and engaged in leading-edge cybersecurity initiatives, which include such important efforts as implementing the Risk Management Framework for DoD IT within the DON.

There is much to be done. I look forward to working with the entire DON team to meet the many challenges that lie ahead.

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