2020 Government Innovation Awards
Labor’s muscular IT platform primed for pandemic response
The Department of Labor’s IT platform modernization initiative is a muscular aggregation of cloud services, content management, service management, enterprise scanning and data analytics built on an enterprisewide IT backbone.
By supporting all those operations in a single place, the platform acts as the agency’s digital spine, saving money, increasing workforce efficiencies and tightening cybersecurity for crucial IT operations, including public-facing applications.
It started as a project to consolidate almost 40 case management systems and reduce the expense of running those systems, some of which cost over $60 million a year to operate. The initiative benefited from the commitment of top managers and money from the Technology Modernization Fund, which the department used to modernize paper-based labor certification processes.
The platform played a key role in the department’s public and internal response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CIO’s office moved 23 applications to the cloud-based platform and used it to launch collaborative virtual workspaces, perform Wi-Fi and network upgrades for 135 offices, and onboard over 200 new staff members nationwide.
As the pandemic progressed, the platform channeled a tidal wave of inquiries to crucial public-facing websites, including DOL.gov and Benefits.gov, and allowed those sites to scale up to handle the surge in traffic.
The department also evolved its web properties with platform-enabled content management tools, fueling the launch of sites such as Apprenticeship.gov, which matches job seekers with opportunities to prepare for highly skilled careers, and a single source of information on H-2A and H-2B job opportunities.
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