Workplace as a service? DHS CIO says yes

Software-as-a-service? Infrastructure-as-a-service? Low-hanging fruit, said the CIO of the Homeland Security department during a keynote address at the Executive Leadership Conference in Williamsburg, Va.

In the speech, CIO Richard Spires emphasized the ways in which innovation, mobility and trust “can all be very big game changers for the government” and indicate what the public sector needs to do a lot more of and quickly.

DHS is going to set up its private cloud workplace-as-a-service -- a combination of virtual desktop capability and mobile devices all within the security architecture, bundled into a single monthly cost, he explained.

“We think this is a bit of game changer,” Spires said, “not because the technology is new but the business model is so different from what we are used to working with.”

The pilot program will be launched in early 2012, and Spires said DHS is already seeing significant future savings compared to the existing desktop services and mobile devices.Testifying before Congress in early October, Spires said this new type of bundled services would modernize how DHS employees work around the country and allow them better remote access.

“Infrastructure-as-a-service and email-as-a-service are great things and things we need to do and are doing,” Spires told the ELC audience.“But those are kind of the low-hanging fruit, right? Business models are going to evolve and you’re going to start seeing more bundling within cloud-based services.”

The American Council For Technology-Industry Advisory Council produces ELC.

About the Author

Camille Tuutti is a former FCW staff writer who covered federal oversight and the workforce.

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