HHS unifying IT systems, services
- By John Monroe
- May 11, 2000
The Department of Health and Human Services has drawn up a master plan for
bringing new order to information technology systems and services across
its 13 divisions.
Rolled out over three years, the Enterprise Infrastructure Management
initiative would reshape how the department buys, manages and secures its
systems, said Brian Burns, deputy chief information officer at HHS, speaking
Wednesday at the Government CIO Summit in Savannah, Ga.
Ultimately, the initiative will free individual agencies to focus on
the services they provide, rather than the systems they run, Burns said.
EIM "is moving us from being a system-centric organization to a customer
service-centric organization," he said.
EIM is not a system but a combination of policies, procedures and technologies.
For example, HHS plans to establish a departmentwide approach to buying
software, which would give individual agencies access to higher-volume pricing
on software licenses than would otherwise be possible.
HHS also plans to develop procedures for dealing with security problems.
The department, which is fairly decentralized, does not have a system for
spreading the word or collecting information about security problems, such
as the ILOVEYOU virus, Burns said.
Procedures for dealing with security problems would be reinforced by
management technology. For example, HHS would like the network management
systems at the various divisions to automatically forward reports of problems
to a system at headquarters.
To the extent possible, the department would like its individual agencies
to use a common set of management technology or — as with network management — technology that at least works together.