Whenever any large organization – such as the federal government – deals with major change, it can be a shock to the system. And, when it comes to tackling the ambitious “25 Point Plan to Reform Federal Information Technology Management,” the federal government has dealt with this ‘shock’ in a highly effective manner according to U.S. CIO Steven VanRoekel.
Although only 18 months in existence, the IT Reform Plan has helped agencies to fully embrace cloud computing. As VanRoekel pointed out in his blog post, prior to the roll-out of the reform strategy, the move to the cloud was not consistent among all agencies. Now, the cloud migration has become a reality across all of government, which has led to an overall cost savings of $4 billion.
Effective cloud security is paramount in this new effort. One of the challenges is that agencies never really show their cards when it comes to IT security, let alone cloud security. Though NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) presented its cloud security efforts at RSA 2012. And, they have developed a simple, yet effective plan that can be implemented across many agencies.
Data center consolidation is also a core component of the IT reform plan. While each agency now has a program manager – per the reform strategy – to oversee these efforts, it certainly raises the issue of optimization. As we have highlighted before, it is unclear how the federal government will optimize the remaining data centers, or how they will address the ongoing need for enhanced bandwidth.
We certainly applaud VanRoekel for implementing an ambitious IT reform plan that is already bearing fruit when it comes to costs savings. Though we always like to caution government to ensure that all of these IT reform efforts are done in a way that includes the right security and optimization strategies.