recommended reading

Agencies cite progress six months after IT reform mandate

Six months after federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra issued his 25-point information technology reform plan, agencies are boasting improvements ranging from moving email and other services to the cloud to creating an online IT shop.

The Commerce Department, for instance, transferred some of its interactive online services to the cloud, allowing it to handle more than 5 million Web hits some weeks during the 2010 census rollout, the department said in a six-month update posted on the Chief Information Officers Council blog. That was the highest volume of Web traffic since the 2000 census, the update noted.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department said it expects to triple the capacity of its website, which offers disabled workers information on benefits and other topics, and avoid up to 75 percent of its old bandwidth costs with a similar cloud move. And the Treasury Department has moved six of its websites, including its main site,, to the cloud.

The CIO Council began posting the six-month updates on its blog June 1. As of Thursday, a few reports were still dribbling in, but the government's largest IT users, with the exception of the Defense Department, had submitted updates.

Kundra's office had already publicized many highlights of the updates, such as the 137 federal data centers that the agencies, collectively, expect to close by the end of this year and the 78 services they will move to the cloud by May 2012.

The documents fill in many details, though, including some agency-level dollar figures that had only been described in aggregate before.

The U.S. Agency for International Development, for example, expects to save $20 million over the next five years by moving its email system to the cloud.

USAID has also launched a cloud-based videoconferencing and file-sharing service across its international and domestic offices that logged 1,400 hours of use in March, up 20 percent from the month before, according to the agency's report.

The Transportation Department touted an " IT business catalog, a one-stop shop for basic, premium, and fee-for-service IT offerings" that it's in the process of developing for Transportation divisions.

"As this catalog is fully deployed, DoT users will have a single location to search, select, deploy, rate and provide feedback on IT services," the agency said. "Highly rated services will be expanded; low-rated services will be improved or retired."

Most agencies praised Kundra's TechStat review process, a sort of intense oral exam for the managers of over-budget or past-deadline IT projects that can result in the projects being drastically scaled down, frozen for further review or canceled entirely.

Many agencies have created an internal version of the TechStat process, though most only began holding sessions in March, according to the reports.

The Housing and Urban Development Department leads the pack, having conducted 22 TechStat sessions since the program was rolled out.

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.