Halvorsen: Acquisition regulations aren't the problem

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Regulations don't make information technology acquisition at the Department of Navy difficult, says DON Chief Information Officer Terry Halvorsen.

"I don't think acquisition, the process, is our key stumbling block. I really don't," said Halvorsen May 3 at an AFCEA NOVA event in Tysons Corner, Va.

"A lot of times we say the acquisition process is the problem, but when we get through it I find there's more flexibility in it than I know, but we don't ask the right questions--'we' being the government and 'we' being industry," he said.

But there does need to be more education around acquisition, because "it's not a simple process…I will freely admit that it's a complicated process," said Halvorsen.

Halvorsen said IT acquisition at DON is increasingly streamlined and the department has made strides in improving the certification and accreditation process.

"I don't think it's a secret that it's one of our fastest growing costs, that we've got to control. So, we've got to figure out how to be more joint on that," said Halvorsen.  

Halvorsen said the services could save time, save money and get better products if they did tests together in a joint environment. He added that it's something the services are looking into and the Defense Department CIO is facilitating.

Cloud computing presents a unique opportunity to do this because "it's kind of a blank slate," said Halvorsen.

"Right now, there isn't really an approved way to go into the cloud. So, what we're really trying to do is one, joint, approved way. We're already starting to talk about how you can test that," said Halvorsen. "So, that may actually help accelerate all this as we move more and more to the cloud."

Overall DON is keeping an eye out for ways to make all IT less specialized. Halvorsen described it as a very clear-cut rule: "Customization: bad. Standard: good. It's almost that simple."

For more:
- listen to Halvorsen's remarks

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