DOT & FTS to consolidate IT

Department of Transportation officials will consolidate information technology systems at a new headquarters beginning in September 2006, which will save $5 million annually in IT overhead costs.

The move to the headquarters on 11 acres at the Southeast Federal Center, next to the Navy Yard, will free funds for mission specific requirements, said DOT Chief Information Officer Dan Matthews on Friday.

“This is a prime example of enterprise architecture at work in a federal agency,” he said.

Currently, DOT’s 13 operating agencies have individual e-mail and desktop services, including system administration and help desk support.

The primary reason for shared services is security. Matthews said centralized IT control will also ensure that e-mails reach all agencies and eliminate redundant management.

“It is simpler to secure a single network than multiple ones,” he said. “While we are addressing the complex subject of security, we have the opportunity to deliver email using fewer than 13 and perhaps as few as one email system.”

In streamlining IT services, some positions will be cut, Matthews said, but he did not provide numbers. DOT officials envision re-deploying federal employees to other jobs.

DOT and FTS will jointly manage procurement for the new headquarters, he said.

Construction began in 2004 for the new building, which will house all operating administrations – except the Federal Aviation Administration. The move date is scheduled for February 2007.

Agencies will still oversee their specific missions but will be connected to a shared service IT infrastructure, with centralized network, cabling, phone and data switches.

The IT move will consist of four stages:

Phase A: Stand up the new building’s IT. DOT is actively seeking proposals for new IT equipment.

Phase B: Maintain parallel IT environments in a shared environment.

Phase C: Migrate. DOT will begin moving IT equipment, telephone equipment and personnel into the building.

Phase D: Close the old building and commence operations in the new building.

While DOT consolidates administrative IT, they will also consolidate the FAA’s IT infrastructure. Currently, the administrative IT and National Airspace System are both undergoing architectural and consolidation reviews.

Matthews said he is working with the FAA to make the NAS simpler and smarter. But, for security reasons, “thou shalt not connect NAS to the Internet,” he said.

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