Justice eyes service broker model for IT acquisition

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was first published by FCW.com.

In the coming months the Justice Department will be joining the short list of agencies adopting a service broker model for IT acquisition, a top priority for recently installed CIO Joe Klimavicz.

Klimavicz, who came to DOJ about two months ago, told FCW that he sees the service broker model as a transition from the traditional delivery model, where IT is built and run in-house, to a model where IT infrastructure and commodity IT services are sourced from best-in-class service providers.

"You're potentially looking to buy and buy once," Klimavicz said. "Those services can come from DOJ headquarters, a component of DOJ or could come from another agency."

The National Nuclear Security Administration was one of the first agencies to implement a service broker program when it launched YOURcloud in 2012.

At the Defense Department, the Defense Information Systems Agency has been acting as the enterprise cloud service broker since 2013. DISA manages and enables use of cloud and negotiates relationships between cloud service providers and consumers, as well as negotiating prices for usage across DOD.

An initial subset of services is already being offered across Justice and will be formalized in the service broker model, according to Klimavicz, including wide area network, email, desktop, security and "Trusted Internet Connection" services.

Klimavicz describes the model as a transformative project that "looks at the big picture," and hopes to roll it out in the next six to 12 months.

"Initially, we will target infrastructure services, like security, data centers, storage, email, and telecommunications," Klimavicz said. "The next tier is addressing business enterprise services like desktop, voice and collaboration."

In Klimavicz's vision, the service brokerage approach presents an opportunity for more shared services, to create efficiencies within such a large organization. Klimavicz led the shared services taskforce at the CIO Council and said he plans to use that experience to guide DOJ.

"I believe shared services should be the de facto way to deliver IT, and the service broker model makes it easier to implement these services," Klimavicz said. "Under this model, I encourage components to be leaders in shared services."

Klimavicz said not all shared services need to come from his office. If other components have a service that can extend across the department, he wants them to do it.

Klimavicz's track record in his seven years at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration -- an agency about one-tenth the size of the Justice Department -- reflects his sense of urgency.

During his tenure at NOAA, Klimavicz oversaw a consolidation of 19 email systems, developed a big data partnership model, expanded the agency's mobile strategy to include Android and iPhone devices, and launched the strategic sourcing vehicle NOAALink.

People at DOJ can expect the same sort of big picture management and an emphasis on speed of delivery of future IT projects, according to Klimavicz.

"It should be a given," he said. "IT solutions should be delivered quickly -- we can't afford to go off for five years to develop a capability. Agile development and delivery needs to be something we do."

Reader Comments

Tue, Aug 12, 2014 Steve

"Best-in-class" is a funny term. This typically means the one that has underbid all the others. These providers are in it to make money, so to do so this savings will be at the expense of the productivity of the rest of the DOJ employees. If you want to see if this is worth it, tie a measurement like that to Klimavicz bonus structure instead of just cost savings. :-)

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