CIO of the Office of Naval Research is in the cloud

Federal Cloud Blog recently ask Brian Reily, chief information officer at the Office of Naval Research, to answer our questionnaire. Here’s what he has to say.


Federal Cloud Blog: Does your agency/organization used shared services in IT? If so please describe.

Brian Reily: Yes we do use shared services. We are currently moving our business applications to Oracle on Demand. We also use the services offered by the Navy Marine Corps Internet and those offered by DISA. Our oracle on demand effort will save us $2M over 5 years and increase our Information Assurance posture.

We are also demonstrating a mobile computing device that will replace your blackberry, personal cell, VOIP phone and your desk/laptop computer. That is we are replacing all your computer with a single device that primarily is an access to the web where we host al the applications. The savings will be large and the security will significantly increase.

FCB: If you do use shared services, what was your motivation? Have the results been what you expected? What has not gone as well as you’d expected.

BR: We are in the initial stages of te Oracle on Demand shared service. We have established the NIPR net circuit which has taken some time. We are currently going through the certification process and should go live with our first application in October.

FCB: Now let’s talk about cloud computing. We’ll define it as having a third party host your applications and storage, accessible via the internet in a business model in which you pay. Are you investigating, piloting, using, or not considering working in the cloud?

BR: [We are] investigating, piloting and using cloud computing as defined above.

FCB: If you are investigating, piloting or using, which services are part of your efforts: storage; e-mail; other communications, such as instant messaging; office productivity applications; or agency-specific applications?

BR: Storage, e-mail and other productivity applications [are part of our efforts].

FCB: Please describe your service level agreement, for example, what is required in terms of up time, how fast new users are provisioned, security. That is, what are you getting contractually?

BR: I can make the contract available. [I can provide the SLA’s if needed.]

FCB: Describe how you pay for cloud services. For example, per user? per hour agency wide? Is there an initial startup fee for the agency? For each user as he or she is added?

BR: We pay based on users and applications being run. Details are available and can be provided if anyone is interested.

FCB: Is your cloud coming from a commercial entity, another agency, or your own agency?

BR: We use both Navy and DISA services. We also have gone commercial through Oracle.

FCB: Were there any unexpected issues that arose when you initialized your cloud arrangement? If so, please describe it/them.

BR: Making arrangements for the NIPR circuit has taken much longer than expected. However once the circuit is in place it will be easier for other folks to piggy-back and take advantage of our efforts.

FCB: Who (by position, not individual) was part of the decision to move to the cloud model?

BR: Basically it was my decision as the CIO. While I briefed it to senior leadership we completed a Business case analysis and we found a savings of $2M an increased security and responsiveness. Decision was really a no-brainer.

I also address this with senior IT leaders in the Navy. All are very interested in the results.

Since ONR charter is to look 20 years into the future exploring technology we adopted this philosophy for our IT environment looking 3 years into the future and testing emerging capabilities. We are also

FCB: Please describe the non-technical issues you had to work through for cloud. For example, agency culture, skepticism from the technology shop or other contractors.

BR: Many folks said we couldn’t do it especially our engineering staff. However, we did a test before we launched and provide that connectivity wasn’t the issue.

I think the real issue is having someone go first and address all the IA and tech issues. None of them are show shoppers but together they can derail the effort.

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