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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Baitman starts HHS commodity consolidation effort with HR systems

The Department of Health and Human Services soon will move its human resources systems to a federal shared service provider.

Frank Baitman, the HHS chief information officer, said the goal is for HHS to stop doing things they have little or no real expertise in, and focus on the mission-critical functions of the agency.

In fact, the decision to have the human resources system hosted and managed by someone else is one that will be made for several other commodity technology systems in the coming years.

HHS put its commodity IT through the PortfolioStat process earlier this year.

Baitman said because of the federated nature of the agency, his office has little insight into what the operating divisions bought and maintained.

Baitman said HHS will initially focus on enterprise services for email and collaboration, and the HR system, and eventually move toward using the cloud to improve interagency information sharing.

HHS expects the move to a shared service provider for HR systems to save it about 25 percent annually. Baitman said the migration could be done in mid-2014.

HHS also implemented Yammer, a Microsoft tool that creates a secure social network for an organization, a few weeks ago.

Baitman said HHS also is developing a mobile strategy that likely will include a way to implement a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) approach.

All of these steps Baitman is taking to modernize the agency's systems and networks will be supported by an upcoming enterprisewide cloud computing services contract.

To help manage this modernization, Baitman said a new HHSwide governance group so the programs or divisions considering cloud services can ensure their plans fit in with the broader plans.

He also is creating a vendor management organization to help manage and buy commodity IT services.

-Jason Miller, FederalNewsRadio.com

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