Sidebar: Two Reports Criticize DHS for Lack of Progress on IT
Computerworld - As the debate about adding a national intelligence director proceeds, two government reports are shedding new light on an existing dilemma: If DHS CIO Steven Cooper can't wrestle that agency's sprawling bureaucracy into submission, can any IT manager be expected to help fix the nation's problems with sharing of information about terrorism?
In July, the DHS inspector general issued a report concluding that Cooper didn't have the political clout needed to develop an enterprise architecture integrating the IT systems of the 22 agencies within the DHS.
Cooper "is not a member of the senior management team with authority to strategically manage departmentwide technology assets and programs," the inspector general's report said. It added that there is no formal reporting relationship between Cooper and the CIOs of major DHS divisions.
In another report that was submitted to Congress on Aug. 6 and made public last week, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the DHS "does not yet have the necessary architectural blueprint to effectively guide and constrain its ongoing business transformation efforts and the hundreds of millions of dollars that it is investing in supporting information technology assets."
According to the GAO, the DHS's IT blueprint "is missing most of the content necessary to be considered a well-defined architecture." The GAO described it as "the result of an amalgamation of the existing architectures that several of DHS's predecessor agencies already had."
In a written response to the inspector general's report, DHS deputy secretary Adm. James Loy disagreed with the recommendation that Cooper should be part of the senior executive team reporting directly to him. The CIO is "already an integral member at each level of the IT investment review process," Loy wrote.
The DHS acknowledged the problems with its enterprise architecture in a response to the GAO's report. But the agency added that the GAO had measured its progress against "unrealistic" expectations of how comprehensive the first version of the architecture would be.
Sateesh Lele, a former CIO at Avon Products Inc. and General Motors Corp.'s European operations, said the federal government desperately needs a cultural change. Lele, who is chairman of San Jose-based IT services firm Global Data Systems USA, noted that he has seen the same problems in the private sector.
"I have seen innumerable examples of this organizational malaise in extremely large organizations, and I have also seen some tough actions from the top which have fixed the problem," he said. "This is not an IT problem. It is a cultural problem."
Read more about Business Intelligence/Analytics in Computerworld's Business Intelligence/Analytics Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
If you use ‘password,’ one the worst passwords, as your password, fail to keep antivirus protection updated and don’t bother to deploy security patches to close critical vulnerabilities, then maybe you should consider working for the cybersecurity-clueless federal government; you’d fit right in, according to Senator Tom Coburn's cybersecurity and critical infrastructure report.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Changing the Way Government Works: Four Technology Trends that Drive Down Costs and Increase Productivity
- This paper discusses four technology-based approaches to improving processes and increasing
productivity while driving down department and agency costs.
- Is Your Big Data Solution Production-Ready?
- Read "Is Your Big Data Solution Production-Ready?" now, and discover best practices and actionable steps to implementing a production-ready big data solution.
- Pay-as-you-Grow Data Protection: IBM Tivoli's Full-featured Data Protection Suite for Small to Medium Businesses
- IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery gives small and medium businesses the opportunity to start out with only the individual solutions...
- Streamline Data Protection with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Operations Center
- IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) has been an industry-standard data protection solution for two decades. But, where most competitors focus exclusively on Backup...
- Simplify and Consolidate Data Protection for Better Business Results
- Learn about IBM® Tivoli® Storage Manager Operations Center, which provides advanced visualization, built-in analytics and integrated workflow automation features that leapfrog traditional backup... All Government IT White Papers
- Webinar: Building a Big Data solution that's production-ready Big data solutions are no longer just a nice-to-have.
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of...
- All Government IT Webcasts