State Department Lagging Behind Some IT Modernization Goals

State Department

The State Department is making progress on its IT modernization effort, but is still lagging behind some of the goals it set as part of the President’s Management Agenda, as a June 20 update to the agency’s priority goals showed.

The agency set four goal areas for its IT modernization effort – improving data accessibility, supporting collaboration and mobility, modernizing systems and service delivery, and improving enterprise data security. With a highly segmented agency structure and IT environment, the State Information Resources Management bureau is leading the modernization push, but falling behind the timelines set at the beginning of the effort.

For instance, in the area of data accessibility, the department aimed to pilot a cloud-based identity management system by Q4 of fiscal year 2018, but has been held up by security concerns, and expects to finally get the authority to operate in place by Q3 of FY19.

On collaboration and mobility, the department is mostly on track, extending the availability of Wi-Fi across the agency, increasing adoption of Office 365, and expanding the usage of a modern mobile device management solution. However, only 18 percent of the department’s posts support Wi-Fi, leaving a long journey ahead to the goal of 100 percent. State expects to have 30 percent of posts support Wi-Fi by the end of FY19. In addition, the department did not report closing any data centers due to the efficiencies of cloud so far, leaving the target of 126 closed data centers far off.

On modernizing systems, the department’s plan to modernize its enterprise architecture program by Q4 of FY18 has slipped, and is still in progress, with work expected to be completed on a project plan by Q3 of FY19. The enterprise architecture roadmap has also run past its deadline, with components still under development and no finalized deliverables despite a Q1 FY19 deadline.

On the positive side, the department is working to mature its approach to Technology Business Management (TBM), which will serve as a key part of the department’s service optimization initiative. A project baseline is expected by Q4 FY19.

On data security, State has fully implemented DMARC and completed the enterprise information security program plan. The department also made strong progress in the number of high impact and moderate impact systems with authority to operate (ATO) in Q4 of FY18, exceeding the department’s forecast. However, the government shutdown earlier this year prevented the department from assessing ATOs in Q1 of FY19, leaving progress unclear.

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