• Defense Dept. CIO Teri Takai Needs More Authority, Board Says

    January 21st, 2012 by admin Categories: Blogs Tags: , , , ,

    Prior to and frankly since California’s former CIO Teri Takai’s appointment to the Obama Administration, her role and responsibilities at the DOD have been a source of speculation. Stories of a strong working relationship with her initial boss Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, have given way to appearances of a less significant role with current Secretary Leon Panetta. However, recent reports may finally turn all this around, as the Defense Business Board urges the Department to give her greater authority to drive infrastructure consolidation and cloud computing.

    The Defense Department should give its CIO more responsibility to drive data center consolidation and the move to cloud computing throughout the military, a defense advisory board says in a new report.

    Specifically, CIO Teri Takai needs a greater ability to say “no” and force compliance with Defense-wide initiatives, says the report by the Defense Business Board, which drew on interviews with top IT officials across the defense and national security community, as well as a number of companies in the private sector…

    Before Takai’s appointment, top DOD officials promised an overhaul of the military’s CIO position, indicated that the new CIO would report directly to the Secretary of Defense, and laid out a plan to eliminate the old position of assistant secretary of defense for networks and information integration. Those changes are still ongoing–the networks and information integration title was eliminated as of this month, but the promised changes have yet to come to full fruition.

    The report concludes in very blunt terms:

    The military needs to act decisively, the report says, or fail in its consolidation and cloud strategy due to increased legacy costs and poorly coordinated action across DOD. By acting now, the report estimates, DOD could save as much as 50% on data centers, cut server provisioning time by 95%, and improve bandwidth use by 90%.

    It will be interesting to see how much clout this advisory board has. Knowing Teri Takai, I doubt that she will stick around much longer in a job without a clear mandate and the authority to get it done. She sure proved that in California. Full story here.

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