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CHIPS Articles: Message From the DON CIO, January-March 2012

Message From the DON CIO, January-March 2012
Happy New Year!
By Terry Halvorsen - January-March 2012
This year, the Department of the Navy will build on the efforts of 2011 as we continue on our difficult but necessary journey to transform the way the department manages its business information technology. Finding ways to become more effective in how we acquire and operate IT will lead to decreased costs and ensure we hit the target of reducing the IT budget by 25 percent by 2017.

There is no question that this is a monumental task in an agency as big as the Department of the Navy with more than 800,000 personnel around the world. But the good news is we have already made great strides finding efficiencies and reducing costs by consolidating data centers (see "Consolidating Data Centers Key to Cutting IT Spending"), streamlining processes (see related memos at www.doncio.navy.mil/efficiencies), "killing" obsolete applications, optimizing systems, leveraging enterprise contracts (see "New DON Mobile Contracts and Tools Drive Savings"), and acting in a more centralized manner. Additionally, stringent approval processes have been put in place to achieve better visibility and to control spending. As a result, we have gained a lot of knowledge about the information technology environment and the true cost of IT.

In addition to these efforts, priorities for 2012 include further enhancing transparency and tracking IT dollars by establishing metrics and reporting processes, and implementing the process to approve information technology purchases exceeding a certain threshold. We will also be working closely with the Department of Defense and Defense Information Systems Agency to develop and implement effective and cost-efficient DoD enterprise IT systems.

Further, we will work to improve the security of our IT systems by developing a risk/cost analysis, improving DON Federal Information Security Management Act scores and establishing the first DON policy on communications security accountability. Many changes are occurring, but rest assured current capabilities will not be sacrificed simply to cut costs.

While my staff and the different integrated product teams, task forces and working groups involved in these important efficiencies efforts do the analysis, write the policies and implement the necessary changes, you too can do your part to help the department reduce its spending. One way is to reduce the amount of printing you do personally and organizationally.

According to a Citigroup Environmental Defense study, the actual cost of printing is between 6 cents and 13 cents per page, or $600 to $1,300 per year per employee. Now multiply that by the number of men and women working for the DON, and you begin to see how even small changes in the way we do business can make a positive impact. I encourage you, as I have my staff, to reevaluate what you consider necessary to print. A lot of what is printed, according to the study, is not intended to be printed in the first place.

I have directed my office to reduce the amount of printing we do. I've encouraged electronic review of documents rather than printing hard copies, we've stopped printing schedules for our DON IT conferences, and CHIPS magazine will cease to print hard copies and become completely digital this year.

This makes sense in a digital and increasingly federal budget-constrained age. These are things great and small that we as a department can do to cut costs and meet the challenge to decrease business IT spending by $2 billion over the next five years. We are all in this together, and in the end it will truly make this department a stronger, more effective Navy-Marine Corps team.

There is a lot of activity to support this effort and my staff is working to keep department personnel informed of key decisions, changes in processes and success stories by publicizing this information using the DON CIO website, email alerts, CHIPS magazine and other communication tools. One way to ensure you receive the latest DON IT news is to sign up for the DON CIO website's RSS feed so that the news comes to you.

Finally, I'd like to congratulate Sharon Anderson, senior editor of CHIPS magazine, and the many contributors to the Department of the Navy's IT magazine on its 30th anniversary. The first issue of CHIPS was published in 1982 as a newsletter and was mailed to 2,500 Navy personnel.

Today, CHIPS is read by more than 2 million people composed of DoD, federal, state and local government agencies; allies and coalition partners; academia; and industry partners. Its founding motto: "Dedicated to Sharing Information, Technology and Experience," still holds true today as the magazine continues to meet the needs of CHIPS' diverse readership by providing informative interviews and features.

DON CIO Terry Halvorsen
DON CIO Terry Halvorsen
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CHIPS is an official U.S. Navy website sponsored by the Department of the Navy (DON) Chief Information Officer, the Department of Defense Enterprise Software Initiative (ESI) and the DON's ESI Software Product Manager Team at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific.

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