Consolidated IT Services
What is it? Many common user IT services (e.g., email, user storage, office automation, collaboration, information assurance, etc) are currently provided by the Director of Information Management (DOIM) on each Army installation. Furthermore, tenant organizations on some installations have developed their own capability to provide these services within their own organization, further increasing the redundancy and overall cost to the Army. Consolidation of such IT services that are typically provided at each Army installation to the enterprise level will greatly reduce costs and enhance the Army’s abilities to secure its networks.
What has the Army done? The initial effort has been the consolidation of servers on the installation. Tenant activities have been relocating their servers to the DOIM server farm. The next effort is the establishment of a Single DOIM on the installation as the only provider of common user IT services. Under the Single DOIM framework, all Army tenant organizations will cease providing common user IT services. The appropriate resources will then be transferred to the Single DOIM. The assessment phase of the Single DOIM Action Plan will result in the identification of non-DOIM activities currently providing IT services. This phase was initiated in June 2006 and currently near completion.
What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future? The next phase in the consolidation of common user IT services will be the implementation of Area Processing Centers (APC). The APCs have three elements. The first element will provide network operations and information assurance. Installations will connect directly to an APC and receive information assurance services that will be provided by the APCs. This will reduce the network exposure to external threats from 200 access points to approximately 6. The APC information assurance capability will also be more robust in terms of available tools and quality of personnel. The second element will consist of the consolidation of other common user IT services (e.g., email, user storage, office automation and collaboration, etc). By provisioning these services from the APCs rather than each Army installation, the Army will achieve economies of scale, maintain a high level of quality of service, and institute a standard for hardware and software across the Army. Furthermore, this will also improve Continuity of Operations and Disaster Recovery (COOP/DR) services through out the Army as organizations will have reliable facilities to provide fail-over and information recovery. The final element of the APC implementation is the hosting of services that support the entire array of combat support functions, to include transportation, logistics, maintenance, engineering, finance, and medical. APCs will provide a facility for Army Commands and Program Managers to house applications, servers and storage equipment. All three elements will provide the Army with a common operating environment that minimizes the hardware and software employed throughout the Army to support applications.
Why is this important to the Army? Consolidating IT services will improve the Army's operational effectiveness by increasing the ability to deliver information services to the right place at the right time, providing enhanced security of that information from outside threats, and reducing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and the amount of money individual organizations spent on IT infrastructures and services.