Transportation's move accelerates IT consolidation

The Transportation Department has completed major steps to consolidate the IT infrastructures of 10 of its component agencies. The success takes the department a step closer to meeting an immovable deadline, when it takes residence in a new headquarters building in 18 months.

The department expects to finalize the definition of its common operating environment and establish model service-level agreements over the next two months, Eugene 'Kim' Taylor, Transportation's deputy CIO and acting chief technology officer, said today at an industry briefing sponsored by Input of Reston, Va. The CIO's office will test a service-level agreement in one of the agencies during the remainder of the year.

Transportation is moving its 6,000 employees'excluding the Federal Aviation Administration'to a new headquarters in 2006 and must consolidate before the move. 'I don't want to leave a trail of servers from our current building to the southwest (D.C.) waterfront,' Taylor said.

Although the Office of Management and Budget has called for IT consolidation across government, the move to a significantly smaller building is driving consolidation at Transportation. 'It's like pushing 10 pounds of stuff into a five-pound bag,' he said. The department plans either to reduce the number of servers, now about 500 among the agencies, or use them to make more applications available.

Also, the CIO's office must improve its IT services since services will be shared across the department in a common operating environment, Taylor said.

The CIO's office has finished incorporating the IT infrastructure requirements into the new building's specifications. And it has established an organizational structure to handle IT services and consolidation. Transportation will soon announce a solicitation for IT services for the CIO.

The department has completed most of its enterprise architecture, sticking to the model of the federal enterprise architecture, Taylor said. Currently, it is developing its Technical Reference Model, which should be completed next month. The technical model lays out core standards and specifications, for example, for security and data interchange, which will help determine what products its agencies should buy, he said. Transportation will use the model as it moves to the common operating environment.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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