Pending Budget Cuts Prompt New Pentagon IT Strategy

September 16th, 2016

At $38.4 billion for fiscal year 2012, the Pentagon has the largest IT budget of any organization in the world. Faced with increased pressure for budget cuts, however, and aiming to save up to $3.5 billion over the next five years, the Department of Defense is rethinking where to spend their IT investments and where to pinch IT spending without compromising IT infrastructure and applications, a new report cites.

The plan, the IT Enterprise Strategy and Roadmap, “aims to replace the military’s branch-specific systems and networks with a more efficient, and ultimately more capable, enterprise model,” reports John Foley in the article. The strategy identifies 26 tech initiatives to be carried out over the next 10 years, and will require changes that go well beyond new IT systems.

Crafted by DOD CIO Teri Takai along with CIOs of the military branches, the new strategy was released in November. Takai’s four top priorities for the plan are supporting the front-line war-fighters, managing the IT budget, investing in new technologies and bolstering cybersecurity.

To achieve these priorities, the new plan identifies networking services, computing services, end user services, application and data services and business processes as areas of focus. It provides benchmarks for sought-after efficiencies, including a 30% reduction in servers. The department also wants to improve cybersecurity and broaden information sharing across the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines, cites the report.

Among the cost saving, cloud adopting and virtualizing initiatives are more than 50 mobile pilot programs (ranging from use of smartphones on the battlefield to iPads for military officers, says Foley) to the Army seeking to close 75% of its 300 data centers, enabling the Army to consolidate applications and virtualize servers, as well as transition its Exchange email environment to a DISA data center. “The Army’s switch to SaaS email is expected to save $100 million annually,” adds Foley.

Appointed to the DOD in October 2010, Takai was a former CIO of California’s and Michigan’s IT operations, and had worked in the private sector for Ford, EDS and auto parts supplier Federal-Mogul before that. (Source InformationWeek.)

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