Suzette Kent: Agency CIOs, Industry ‘Acting With Urgency’ to Meet IT Demand

Suzette Kent
Suzette Kent

Suzette Kent, federal chief information officer and a 2020 Wash100 award winner, said agency CIOs, the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and industry partners are ramping up efforts to meet the information technology demand among teleworkers and carry out missions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Federal News Network reported Thursday.

“Everyone is acting with urgency not only inside the federal government, but also the vendors we are working with,” Kent said. “We have been inundated with offers from vendors. We are collecting all those offers and going through them in a way that’s efficient to decide what we can use.”

She said her office has discussed with telecommunications firms and internet service providers about ways to meet the increasing IT demand and ensure the security platforms are installed on networks.

Kent mentioned that agencies conducted individual evaluation of their capacity and launched measures a few weeks ago in preparation for the current situation.

“Right now over the last week and into this week, we see those investments in modernization, like moving to the cloud and the scaling that comes with it, prove the value and give us the results we wanted to see,” she said. “Agencies are able to go from volumes of a snow day in a region to much larger scale volumes across the country.  We’ve done virtual private network testing, and vendors have been very responsive to scale up licenses and with technical tweaks that agencies needed.”

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