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Vivek Kundra: ‘Stop the Madness’ on IT Spending Sprees

Image: youngpersonalfinanceacademy.com
Image: youngpersonalfinanceacademy.com

Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra acknowledged the federal government has to “stop the madness” when it comes to wasting money on ineffective data centers and other IT resources, according to InformationWeek.

Speaking at the NASA IT Summit held Aug. 16-18, Kundra highlighted accomplishments the federal government has achieved in slashing costs of IT operations. However, much more can be done to streamline IT at federal agencies, as seen with NASA’s Nebula cloud-computing platform, which has been leveraged across agencies across the government, Kundra said.

Some wasteful projects Kundra mentioned included the Department of Defense’s $1 billion plan to build an integrated human-resource system. The plan was recently canceled. Last month, Kundra met with every major agency to review projects that are behind schedule, over budget or off course to come up with a way to get them back on track.

“It’s imperative that every dollar we invest in this fiscal environment, that the investments don’t end up become wasteful,” he told InformationWeek.

Other problems the government faces include federal procurements that take too long,  and the lack of common architecture. To the latter point, Kundra gave an example at the Department of Interior where someone could not send an email department-wide because of siloed email systems.

Despite these problems, Kundra remains optimistic about the federal government’s ability to overhaul IT operations. However, a recent survey found that many federal IT executives do not think agencies will achieve data-center consolidation in the timeline the Obama administration is targeting. Moreover, some believe it may never happen.

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