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Department of Homeland Security Chief Information Officer Richard Spires

Department of Homeland Security Chief Information Officer Richard Spires emphasized his agency’s commitment to a “future-ready,” digital government on Wednesday, citing two DHS technology initiatives focused on virtual work environments and a web-based, open source content management platform.

“I know firsthand that the establishment of common standards and platforms and the use of new mobility capabilities are critical to leveraging data to meet the mission needs of this Department,” Spires said in a new blog post on CIO.gov.

Spires highlighted DHS’ implementation of a Drupal-based, open source platform that will provide “new and innovative capabilities, delivering improved citizen-centric capabilities” and a content management system that offers “timely Web maintenance as well as increased capabilities for accurate content updates.”

On virtualization efforts:

Workplace as a Service (WPaaS) will provide a virtual desktop interface that looks and feels like a traditional desktop while leveraging the power, security, and data provided by the department’s two Enterprise Data Centers. This virtual desktop enables DHS personnel to perform their mission wherever there is access to the Internet or the DHS internal network, including through the use of handheld devices like smart phones and tablets. WPaaS delivers multiple benefits by replacing traditional desktops and laptops with virtual computing that provides as-needed operating systems and applications at monthly, pay-per-use service with scalability-all supported by a robust security model. WPaaS promises to reduce operating costs, increase operational flexibility, and simplify administrative management, while efficiently using resources by eliminating surpluses of outdated and underutilized equipment.

Full post.