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Department of State’s IT mantra is consolidate and centralize

Posted by Kathleen Smith

Charlie Wisecarver, Chief Technology Officer of the Department of State, spoke last week at a Bisnow’s “Hottest IT Trends in Diplomacy and Defense.” Consolidation and centralization is the name of the game for State, including desktops, data centers (down from 12 to 3), real estate and networks. There will also be pressure to reduce State’s $1.1 billion IT budget over the next several years with the coming budget crunch.

There has been a bias toward insourcing with the new administration. Currently IT personnel are 40% insourced (State employees) and 60% outsourced (vendors), and that’s a balance Charlie wants to maintain. He relies on vendors to keep State abreast of new and cutting edge technologies and developments in IT.

In thinking toward the future, cloud computing is certainly on the horizon but the emphasis will be on security, and budget constraints will drive implementation. Diplomacy today is U.S. government to people (foreign nationals), not government to government. That will make social media more important as well as technologies such as cell phone apps — especially in countries where cell phones may be an individual’s only access to the internet.

As you can imagine, what keeps Charlie up at night is cybersecurity. As State is a highly visible symbol of our nation, it’s a constant concern and challenge that is here to stay.

 

This entry was posted on Monday, July 19, 2010 10:27 am

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