Clouds in a remote landscape

Interior to give employees anywhere, anytime, any device access via cloud

The Interior Department is working to give employees access to IT resources anywhere, anytime with any device enabled by cloud computing through DOI’s data center consolidation initiative.

“I view cloud computing as helping us meet the needs of our dispersed workforce,” said Interior CIO Bernard Mazer.  

With 2,400 locations, DOI is all over the place, Mazer noted.  “We are there where [telecommunications] carriers are; we are there where carriers aren’t,” he said.  As a result, DOI has to use a variety of tools to ensure that employees are supported no matter where they are located – in a refuge, a Bureau of Land Management office, a Bureau of Indian Affairs’ project or a national park in a remote hinterland.  This support also includes access to the business applications associated with contract, financial and human resource management systems.

Mazer spoke to an audience of government and industry representatives at a Nov. 8 briefing held by FCW and other technology companies on how data center design and cloud computing are transforming agency operations. Mazer gave a brief overview of four areas that highlight Interior’s progress with the cloud, an on-demand approach to pooling and sharing computing resources:

Unified messaging:  DOI is on course to move 72,000 employees to Google Apps for Government by the end of the year. Although Interior started this migration before the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program was available, it has followed all the FedRAMP security control guidelines.

Office of Management and Budget eCPIC:  Interior uses the General Services Administration’s Electronic Capital Planning and Investment Control (eCPIC) system for capital planning. This Web-based application helps agencies automate the selection, control and evaluation of IT and non-IT projects and prepare and submit budget data to OMB.

IMARS training and testing: DOI’s enterprise system for law enforcement, the Incident Management, Analysis and Reporting System, is hosted by Verizon Federal/Terremark in its cloud environment.  Interior is considering having the system’s production environment hosted the cloud. 

Cloud acquisition:  Interior has an acquisition plan and a solicitation for cloud-based hosting services, which is expected to be awarded vendors by Dec. 31.  It will streamline access by Interior Department offices to a full suite of advanced storage and software services, Mazer said.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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