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'Cloudy' Outlook for Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI)

Posted by Tim Hannon on May 9, 2019 11:00:00 AM

On August 1, 2016, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released Memorandum M-16-19, Memorandum for Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies. The memorandum established the Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI), designed to help Federal agencies meet OMB requirements to consolidate and modernize IT infrastructure.
The DCOI specifically requires agencies to optimize and consolidate data centers to deliver better services to the public while increasing return-on-investment to taxpayers. The DCOI supersedes Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative (FDCCI) launched in 2010 to promote green IT by reducing the excessive, inefficient outgrowth ofgovernment data centers, while maintaining the data center requirements of the later, Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA).

The latest draft of the new Data Center Optimization Initiative policy shifts the focus of DCOI toward optimization, rather than data center consolidations and closures, and revises metrics for the program.  Not only does the initiative set targets for agencies, but it requires regular metrics reports to demonstrate measurable progress and improvement.

The DCOI has been very beneficial for taxpayers. Since 2016, the initiative has reduced budget outlays by roughly $2 billion through savings and cost avoidance measures. Now, eight years later, the OMB is facing diminished returns as the largest and biggest cost-saving closures have already occurred. To maintain the financial momentum gained from earlier efforts and continue its forward progress optimizing cost and operational efficiency, investing in a cloud-focused data center is the solution.

Being ‘Cloud Smart’

The DCOI is not a ‘one-off’ initiative; it aligns with the 2018 Cloud Smart strategy, which measures cloud technology effectiveness by honing in on risk-based decision-making and service delivery. When its predecessor, Cloud First, was drafted in 2010, cloud technology was still relatively new and the strategy lacked direction. With Cloud Smart, agency officials acknowledge that progress is not possible without a sound strategy and the capability to implement.

Cloud Smart is emblematic of the changes underway requiring next-gen technologies. It is the first federal-wide update to cloud policy in seven years, and promises improvements across the board in speed, security, and savings.

Federal Cloud Migration Is Inevitable – So What’s to Consider?

Cloud is clearly the future for federal agencies. Those that don’t adapt not only will have subpar FITARA scorecard ratings, their opportunity costs will be sub-optimized performance, reduced security and lower productivity. To meet the new standards, agencies will need to effectively migrate their data requiring one of more of the following steps: 1) Transitioning to provisioned services like cloud technologies to the fullest extent practical; 2) Inter-agency collaboration for shared services and shared data centers; and, 3) Migrating data to more optimized data centers currently owned by the agency. Even those agencies that may have these capabilities (very few), do not have the staff or expertise needed to make the transition smooth and ‘budget-friendly’; this is where a partner-expert, like Tech Data, can help.

Agencies will need to adjust –quickly– to a cloud-first orientation. Making the transition is complicated and costly; the margins for error are narrow while the costs and implications of, if not done properly, are substantial and far-reaching. For agencies already strained for budget and staff – establishing a relationship with a leading industry partner like Tech Data can see you through the transition maze; creating value for CIO office staff and tax-payer wallets. Visit our cloud solutions portfolio and learn how Tech Data can help move your mission forward.

About the Author

Tim Hannon is the vice president of Public Sector Solutions for Tech Data. In his role, he is responsible for providing strategic direction for technology and solution delivery into the U.S. public sector market, which also includes the management of Tech Data Government Solutions, LLC and oversight of this subsidiary’s U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) IT 70 contract, GS-35F-0349S.


Tags: Cloud First, Public Sector, Modernization, DCOI, FITARA, Cloud Smart