Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra has unveiled a plan to streamline and modernize the government’s technology infrastructure, which calls for the elimination of at least 800 data centers by 2015.

The plan, which outlines 25 points to reform Federal IT, also calls on the government to adopt a “cloud first” policy as a means to lower costs and to more quickly bring products and services to internal and external customers.

“Information technology should enable government to better serve the American people. But despite spending more than $600 billion on information technology over the past decade, the Federal Government has achieved little of the productivity improvements that private industry has realized from IT,” the introduction to the Federal action plan states.

“While the 25 points may not solve all Federal IT challenges, they will address many of the most pressing, persistent challenges.”

In regards to Federal data centers, the administration established a task force in February under which agencies were asked to inventory their data center assets. After an eight-month peer review process, the government determined at least 2,100 data centers are being maintained.

Over the next six months, each agency has been directed to designate a senior, dedicated data center consolidation program manager to develop a plan with “verifiable milestones” toward achieving the targeted reduction of at least 800 data centers. A Data Center Consolidation Task Force will be established to manage the coordinated effort.

The Office of Management and Budget will also launch a dashboard that can be viewed by the public to track the consolidation program.

Other highlights of the 25-point plan include:

  • Under the cloud first policy, each federal agency has been directed to identify three “must move” services with three months, and move one of those services to the cloud within 12 months, and the remaining two within 18 months.
  • Major IT programs will only be approved if they have: a dedicated program manager, use a modular approach with usable functionality deliver every six month, and use a specialized IT acquisition professional.

 
 

 

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