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FCW : August 30, 2014
taking a hard look at their systems and information, they decided to move local systems and applications to a pri- vate cloud. "It s thinking about how can we become more ef cient, get virtualized, reduce the number of servers, reduce energy consumption," Ash said. "But doing it in a smart way so that we re not replacing server for server." NRC of cials have been consider- ing moving other facets of their orga- nization to the cloud for years, but the organization is taking it "one step at a time," he added. "Right now for cloud, our best opportunity is around the things we re doing, which is getting our house in order and getting things virtualized and doing a lot of the necessary stuff that will better enable us for the future and other types of cloud offerings," Ash said. NRC is also finalizing a plan to address the government mandate for electronic records, and he said he expects to release it soon. "Where an organization can struggle is when different programs or projects are out on their own, without a con- nection," Ash said. "The earlier we can connect all the different pieces and identify who the stakeholders are, then we re in a better spot. When organiza- tions struggle, it s because something is thought of as an afterthought at the back end. I d rather deal with it at the front end." 'A lot of moving pieces' Before coming to NRC, Ash was DOT s associate CIO for IT investment man- agement. He joined the agency in 2003 to work on enterprise architecture and capital planning after passage of the E-Government Act in 2002. Ash admits he is not a techie at heart --- his undergraduate degree is in international studies --- but he sees technology as a mechanism to enable innovation. "Innovation can exist throughout the organization," he said. "It s not exclu- sive to the IT world. There are great ideas that come out of different parts of the organization, and it s our job to work with those ideas." With an IT staff of roughly 170, Ash also tries to lay a foundation for the future. NRC has an extensive intern- ship program with college and high school participants, many of whom have come back to work for the agency. "There are a lot of moving pieces, but you always have to remain focused on the mission, recognizing that as you implement modernized systems, you re going to impact the mission, and you want to impact it in a positive way," Ash said. ■ August 30, 2014 FCW.COM 23 NRC.GOV "Technology really is the delivery mechanism. It's about the information."
September 15, 2014
August 15, 2014