HHS CIO Advisor Discusses Cloud Strategy Draft

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Oki Mek, Chief Technology Officer, Division of Acquisition, Department of Health and Human Services

Oki Mek, senior adviser to the CIO at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), on Feb. 20 discussed the agency’s current effort to draft a cloud strategy, and the importance of going forward with a unified strategy that guides the entire organization.

Speaking at an event organized by FCW, Mek said the biggest goal of HHS’s tech effort over the next two years is improving service delivery, and close behind that is working out the agency’s cloud strategy, improving cybersecurity, and making HHS a “test bed for modernization.”

“That’s a tough one,” Mek said of drafting the cloud strategy, in part because HHS is a highly federated agency. He said the cloud strategy is “not really a tech process, it’s a business process” that needs to serve the varied needs of HHS.

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Mek said the best strategy for cloud is to consider it akin to a human resources department – which he pointed out does not directly manage the organization’s personnel, but rather sets forth the policies for the rest of the organization to do so.

“I think that’s the answer to cloud,” he said, while warning that if different parts of the organizations go to cloud services independently, then the result will be separate silos of effort and operations. “We are looking at that as we draft up the cloud strategy for HHS,” he said.

John Curran
About John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.

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