Spires spreads DHS's data center experience to rest of government

Thursday - 12/2/2010, 12:06pm EST

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December 2, 2010 -- Richard Spires has spent much of the last year wearing two hats. One as the Homeland Security Department's chief information officer where he has been wrangling 22 disparate organizations, which even after seven years still deal with technology in silos. And two, as the co-chairman of the CIO Council working group on data center consolidation.

Luckily for Spires, both positions play to his strengths as a technologist and as a manager.

Spires joined DHS just over a year ago as the agency was in the middle of a data center consolidation effort, moving from as many as 24 to 2. Spires applied many of DHS's lessons learned and best practices to the government-wide effort.

He said the need for a standard definition of a data center was one of the first things both DHS and the government as a whole had to do.

DHS also participated heavily in the CIO Council advisory board, which looked at agency data center consolidation plans and offered suggestions.

Along with the data center consolidation work, Spires has focused on improving the governance and project management at DHS. He reviewed all 82 major IT programs and found areas, such as the multiple common operating pictures components use, for consolidation.

And finally, Spires will mandate employees use their secure identity cards to log-on to their computers starting at headquarters later this year.