IT infrastructure

The Veterans Affairs Department’s move to a cloud-based email system for its employees is nothing if not meticulous. When fully rolled out, in 2014, the new platform will give about 400,000 VA users — and eventually up to 600,000 — an array of collaborative tools and eventually yield tens of millions of dollars in savings on IT infrastructure for the department, VA officials expect.

But for the near term, in a carefully planned first phase, the department plans to migrate 15,000 users to Microsoft 365 for Government within a separate community cloud, by the end of March, said Charles De Sanno, VA’s executive director of enterprise systems engineering. Keep reading →

With the deadline just days away for states to declare whether they will institute their own health insurance exchanges as outlined in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), many states in the U.S. have yet to formally declare their intentions. Their delay is only one factor threatening to slow down progress on an already rough-hewn path to implementation of health exchanges, which are scheduled to be fully operational with policies taking effect in January 2014.

The state exchanges are a marketplace for health insurance products where, in theory, consumers and small businesses can shop for insurance at competitive rates, enroll in plans and find transparent information on premiums, coverage, and benefits. Exchanges are familiar to any consumer who has experienced the ease of buying airline tickets online using aggregator services, such as Expedia. However, buying health insurance is not the same as buying an airline ticket from Chicago to New York. The stakes are much higher; the issues, more complex. It is not a matter of two double clicks and you’re done. Keep reading →

With attempts to push through comprehensive cybersecurity legislation dead for this year, a pending executive order will likely include many of the features of the failed bill.

A final attempt to pass a cyber bill introduced by Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) was defeated this week in a 51-47 vote. The bill was blocked by senate republicans who believe that the legislation would lead to more federal regulation of business. Keep reading →

If you could improve your agency’s bottom line and reduce your IT infrastructure costs, all without sacrificing mission-critical capabilities, where would you start?

Ideally, you’d like to know where you’re getting the best performance from your IT investment, along with knowledge about over-use and under-use so you’d know where to make cuts, and whether you might be able to consolidate some operations to save money. Keep reading →

A recent GAO report on Department of Defense business management systems found that the department has requested $17.3 billion to operate its business systems during fiscal year 2012.

It turns out the number of DoD systems in operation is rather staggering: According to the inventory information, those funds were to be used to operate 2,258 business, 335 financial management, 709 human resource management, 243 real property and installation, and 281 acquisition management systems. Keep reading →