Department of Commerce CIO Dr. Szykman Speaks at ITPA Luncheon

Today I had the opportunity to attended a luncheon by ITPA (Independent Telecommunications Pioneer Association). The luncheon featured Dr. Simon Szykman, Chief Information Officer at the Department of Commerce. Quickly, here are the topics he touched on at the Department of Commerce:

  1. Cybersecurity – Department of Commerce has made great strides in improving cybersecurity efforts
  2. Decrease Spending through Technology – need to look at available technology and what can help improve the efficiency mission essential programs. Department of Commerce tends to be an adopter, not a driver of technology.
  3. Supporting administration IT agenda and strategies – making sure they are the same page with the administrations 25 Point and related strategies
  4. Cloud – moving services to cloud when possible to cut costs, improve efficiency
  5. Mobility – developing the right infrastructure and security to improve mobile
  6. Shared Services – challenging to move money across agencies and departments, but need to focus on proper sizing and mission delivery
  7. Contract Consolidation – by consolidating contracts, acquisition professionals can have more bandwidth, improve efficiency and save costs
  8. Need to continue to document and publish best practices – industry can help to continue to develop best practices and share resources with government

Overall Dr. Szykman gave an interesting perspective on what is happening on the ground at the Department of Commerce. He mentioned some of the challenges of managing IT across 12 bureaus with some agencies that have over 75K employees and others with less than 100 employees.

Some other interesting observations was the the Department of Commerce has yet to issue a policy on bring your own device. The reason for this is that the Department of Commerce does not yet have the proper infrastructure set up to support multiple devices and wouldn’t be able to manage mobility well. Dr. Szykman also stated there were litigation issues (especially in the discovery process) and FOIA challenges that have yet to be addressed by mobility.

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