CIOs get to work on closing data centers

Obama administration's goal is to close 800 centers by 2015

The Federal CIO Council has launched a governmentwide data center consolidation task force as part of the Obama administration’s IT reform program.

The task force, which began its work in February, seeks to close a minimum of 800 data centers by 2015 and is composed of data center program managers, facilities managers and sustainability officers from 24 agencies, according to information posted April 7 on the official website.

Members of the task force participate in monthly meetings to review progress of each consolidation project. Homeland Security CIO Richard Spires and Interior Department CIO Bernard Mazer lead the task force as co-chairmen.

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“As its work evolves, the task force will serve as a ‘community of practice’ for agency CIOs and data center program managers to share best practices and enhance consolidation effectiveness,” the website states. 

The administration has been making progress on implementing its 25-point IT management reform plan. In recent weeks, Federal CIO Vivek Kundra has released a draft proposal for a new IT program manager title and agencies have begun holding their own TechStat sessions to review IT spending.

Kundra also suggested at a conference in March that some agencies might elevate the role of their CIOs – following in the footsteps of Interior’s new policies from last December – and that he is in the process of “reconstituting” the Federal CIO Council.

A status update on the IT reform plan is expected sometime this month.

Kundra, along with officials from the General Services Administration and the Government Accountability Office, is scheduled to testify April 12 at a Senate subcommittee hearing about the IT plan.

About the Author

Alyah Khan is a staff writer covering IT policy.

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Reader comments

Wed, Apr 13, 2011 Over the rainbow

I don't know about the civilian agencies, but in the DoD there seem to be a zillion CIOs, one for every function, and none of them have four stars. Without four stars, each of them lacks the clout to actually make much of anything happen. Compare this to the corporate world, where the CIO is typically now one of the senior executives, reporting directly to the CEO/President, and a participant in creating and guiding strategy. The DoD will never escape from its silo view(s) of the world until there are CIOs at the four star level. This is the only way that the myriad of private IT shops, scattered across each Component, will ever be forced to consolidate and play well together. The DoD is still back in the days when "the computer" was the province of the "data processing manager," who typically reported to the controller or some other "down in the ranks" financial role. The corporate world recognized that IT was an essential part of their ability to compete, in many cases their only advantage, and elevated the CIO to a level where s/he could actually make a difference. IT, as infrastructure, to the glue that allows the Components to function, individually and jointly, and it needs to be managed from the top level of each Component.

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