Defense Business Board: Give CIO More Authority

The Department of Defense chief information officer should be given more authority over information technology modernization policies, namely data center consolidation and cloud computing, the Defense Business Board said in a detailed report released Thursday.

The DBB, an independent but influential review board comprised of private sector executives, also recommended that DOD CIO Teri Takai have more authority over branch CIOs and treat them as chief implementers of DOD CIO policy.

The board’s recommendations will be sent to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Deputy Secretary Ash Carter for further approval.

To help further cloud computing adoption and speed data center consolidation, the board recommended that Takai develop standardized, transparent metrics across DOD and develop a clear timeline, milestones, budget and concept of operations through implementation.


DBB recommendations:

Establish single strong governance authority

  • DEPSECDEF must ‘own’ initiative; CIO drives effort, but it cannot be a CIO initiative
  • CIO must have ability to drive change, say ‘no,’ and force compliance
  • CIO must develop standardized, transparent metrics across DoD
  • Do not create a new committee to oversee effort; will create confusion

Develop a coordinated, integrated strategy to optimize at the DoD level

  • Establish clear timeline, milestones, budget, and Concept of Operations Service/Agency CIOs as chief implementers accountable to the DoD CIO
  • Leverage DISA role; insist on commercial-like SLAs, metrics, and accountability

Streamline legal and procurement authorities to address policy barriers

  • Align Title 10 responsibilities with IT Modernization governance authority
  • Establish rapid and consolidated procurement capability for IT purchases

Use sequenced approach to data center consolidation

  • Normalize, standardize, and rationalize critical elements first
  • Prioritize around applications, then infrastructure, then data/security
  • Set deadlines for termination of legacy systems, personnel, and contractors
  • Launch Cloud pilot initiatives offering immediate user benefits
  • Accelerate Cloud when purpose and desired benefits are clear

Utilize commercial business model to set targets/manage expectations

  • Establish multi-year budget plan; require audit-level transparency; use ROI metric
  • Develop shared model to enable both savings and capability upgrades
  • Establish specific output-based metrics for transition, operations, continued business improvement, and mission support
  • Optimize staff for new work mix/model; invest in training
  • Utilize DoD incentive and reward programs to drive behavioral changes

Full report;

DBB Draft IT Modernization Outbrief V26 (2)

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