Efforts throughout government to cut the cost of federal data centers continue to grind along, with the General Services Administration and the Defense Information Systems Agency recently announcing separate progress. The Homeland Security Department also published a Sept. 30 request for information that said the department plans to transition from a data center model where it pays for data centers by the square foot to an "as-a-service" model where it pays for use.
Army Chief Information Office and G6 Lt. Gen. Susan Lawrence is leaving her position, posting a final message online on Oct. 1. Lawrence's tenure saw the service migrating to a departmentwide Microsoft Exchange cloud solution for email--an effort that wasn't without challenge, leading Lawrence in August 2011 to announce an operational pause. "We uncovered some pretty nasty stuff," said Lawrence at the time, citing an unorganized network as the primary culprit for the delay
Changes in the Office of Management and Budget definition of "data center" are more responsible for the growth in enumerated federal data centers than poor inventory management, Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel told a July 25 House panel.
Data center consolidation at the Internal Revenue Service lacks a formal plan to address challenges, map milestones and set time frames, writes the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration in a June 10 report.
Savings so far from federal data center consolidation are difficult to estimate for their lack of reporting, but are "believed to be minimal" as of last November--nearly 3 years after the Office of Management and Budget launched an initiative to reduce the number of federal data centers by 40 percent--says the GAO.
Consolidating online services and integrating information technology sytems not only cut costs, but also made the Interior Department more efficient, Interior Chief Financial Officier Rhea Suh said May 13 at the Excellence in Government conference in Washington, D.C.
The Defense Department's fiscal 2014 budget proposal includes $39.6 billion for information technology, shows an overview from the departmental office of the chief information officer released earlier this month.
Budget is the top concern among federal chief information officers in an annual survey from TechAmerica and Grant Thorton, published May 2. Based on interviews with 41 federal CIOs, report authors say federal information technology leaders are concerned about budget constraints caused by the continuing resolution and sequestration, and inadequate budget authorities that impact how much control they have over IT programs.
The fiscal 2014 budget proposal the Obama administration sent to Congress on April 10 carries mixed results for major Homeland Security Department information technology efforts. Total funding for the DHS office of the chief information officer would go down by 1.2 percent when taking into account Office of Management and Budget-projected inflation.
Under President Obama's fiscal 2014 budget request, NOAA would receive a total budget authority of $3.4 billion, or 1.47 percent more than funding under the current year's continuing resolution.