The topic “Business System Reform – What’s Different This Time” was moderated by Ray Miles, Strategic Account Executive, immixgroup, Inc, with guest speakers Mr. Greg Little – Team Lead, Business Integration Office, OUSD (Comptroller) and Ms. Nikki Cabezas – Project Lead, IT and Business Reform Team, DoD CIO. Ms. Cabezas focused initial discussions around topics related to the 2018 National Defense Strategy Reform Initiative and identifying system redundancies and process inefficiencies to drive system footprint and process reduction changes (similar to BRAC). The government is supporting myriad IT systems at various levels of modernization many of which provide redundant or overlapping functionality. Her team is working with industry and government representatives to reduce this footprint, minimize sustainment costs, and increase system and data compatibility.
With respect to the BIO, Mr. Little touched on the development of an integrated and complementary data aggregation and analysis ecosystem driven by Agile-style small, frequent wins in developing analytics capabilities. These frequent feature deployments allow for incremental customer adoption and feedback to drive future development efforts. This was largely in reference to the work being executed within the BIO and their Cloudera-based Hadoop ecosystem in which they:
- acquire FM, HR, logistics, and acquisition data
- transform into standardized formats and validate the results
- analyze in accordance with standard reporting and emerging enterprise-level issues and questions
This Repository for Common Enterprise Data is helping the Comptroller (and the “CFO of the Future”) to provide real analytical value in addition to the standard well-vetted, auditable set of financials. Mr. Little also spoke on the need to transition sustainment knowledge and skills to government personnel thereby releasing industry to move on to the next innovation.
Additional discussion focused on the desire to shift away from relatively expensive and narrowly focused custom solutions, especially those developed from scratch. As such, more emphasis is being placed on leveraging out-of-the-box COTS tools and ensuring customization is appropriate for as large a group of similar functions as possible. This is another area in which the BIO and BRT are attempting to identify and broadcast best practices along with small, frequent process and analysis “wins” to help encourage more of the same across the federal government.