Takai lays out DoD IT reform challenges


Teri Takai says she isn’t naïve about the challenges in executing departmentwide information technology reforms at the Defense Department.  

As DoD’s chief information officer, she’s up against more than 7 million computers and devices connected to 15,000 networks, 772 data centers and IT infrastructure that is scattered across DoD services. There’s also the challenge of garnering support from services’ CIOs, who have their own pots of money for IT projects and programs.

“It isn’t like I can sort of sit in my office and put a directive out and everybody goes “oh that’s a really great idea Teri, I better run back to my office and do that,’” Takai told an audience of mostly government contractors at an INPUT event Thursday.

The push is toward more centralization and standardization of platforms that can ultimately support adoption of cloud computing.

“If we moved to a cloud environment with the technology the way it is today, we will make our world worse, not better, because we will now have our internal data centers to control as well as who knows what is in what cloud,” Takai said. She added that DoD will not be able “to move in any way into a cloud environment if we do not move to a more standardized environment.”

Don’t forget the security piece. Takai has made it clear that the environment must be secure and continue to be secure.

As for data center consolidation, she said DoD is still at stage one. The department has agreed to shutdown 344 data centers by 2015, the biggest undertaking of any federal agency, but has just begun looking at physical data centers and virtualization. DoD will develop the remainder of its plan throughout the year, starting with consolidation within the services first.


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