Navy CIO Outlines IT Savings Opportunties, Must Cut Budget 25 Percent Over Next Five Years

The Department of the Navy must cut its information technology budget 25 percent over the next five years and everything except combat systems is on the table, department CIO Terry Halvorsen said.

“As we examine and evaluate our business IT, we are going to follow the money — because where we spend the most money — is where we will find the biggest opportunities to save,” Halvorsen wrote on his blog.

Halvorsen wrote that the following areas are being focused on for savings:

Application Redundancy. The department has a number of applications that basically perform the same function, and some that are used by a small number of people. We must look at these applications and question whether a unique requirement is worth the cost of multiple applications performing the same function, or whether an application is worth keeping if it’s not widely used. We are doing the math and considering what value we are actually getting for our investments. We will decide which applications are worth keeping and which will be eliminated.

Data Storage and Management. The trend in industry is to consolidate data centers to reduce costs; the department must do this as well. We are already making progress; we have closed seven data centers so far this year. We are considering current and future needs, as well as operational costs, when determining which data centers to close. We cannot afford to provide immediate access to all data so we must standardize and prioritize data. If we have fewer data centers with better connectivity, we can send high priority data faster. This is difficult to do now with data stored in different standards and in many data centers.

Enterprise licensing. We must require purchasing via enterprise licenses with no waivers granted. Allowing waivers led us to where we are today with multiple versions of software, including customized software. We cannot continue to customize off-the-shelf software at the rate we currently do because once we customize we are required to pay for testing and updating. We must centralize decision making to determine if and when customization will be allowed. In the future, this may mean changing a process rather than customizing software to fit that process.

Governance. We must improve governance across all IT functions, which will enable the department to act more like an enterprise. I am working with Marine Corps and Navy leadership to address this. Not everyone will like the result, which will be more centralized governance. However, this does not mean all execution will be at the department level; it means centralized governance through the two services.

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