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Navy, Marine Corps achieve IT savings ahead of target date

Nov. 26, 2012 - 05:36PM   |  
By NICOLE BLAKE JOHNSON   |   Comments
The Navy and Marine Corps  have been directed to cut their combined $7.8 billion IT budget by 25 percent, or roughly $2 billion, by 2017.
The Navy and Marine Corps have been directed to cut their combined $7.8 billion IT budget by 25 percent, or roughly $2 billion, by 2017. (Navy)

The Navy and Marine Corps has achieved more than $100 million in information technology savings in the last year, according to Department of Navy Chief Information Officer Terry Halvorsen.

The savings come from consolidating IT business systems and data centers, increasing use of enterprise software licenses and reducing printing and mobile device costs, Halvorsen told reporters Monday.

The services were directed by Navy Undersecretary Robert Work to cut their combined $7.8 billion IT budget by 25 percent, or roughly $2 billion, by 2017. Halvorsen said the services are on track to reach that savings goal.

“We … have already taken $2 billion out of our business IT” through 2017, Halvorsen said. “We have to put in place a business IT operating system that’s going to cost the money we have left or it will end up coming out of mission money and we certainly don’t want that to happen.”

Savings include:

• $30 million in costs for mobile devices, including tablet computers, BlackBerrys and other smartphones. Some commands have reduced costs by sharing minutes and purchasing fewer devices. Halvorsen said earlier this year that when emergencies require the services to buy new cellphones, they should use minutes that have already been purchased rather than buying new calling plans. As the number of minutes and cellphones are reduced, so will be the number of contractors needed to provide those services.

• $35 million in software costs by using departmentwide software licenses from companies such as Microsoft, as opposed to buying individual software licenses.

• $41 million in printing costs, including reducing the number of stand-alone printers and the amount of printing. Once these efforts are expanded across both services, savings are expected to exceed $200 million over five years.

Halvorsen said these numbers do not include cost avoidance and are actual savings that have been redirected to support the mission or gone back into Treasury Department coffers.

Savings from data center consolidations are harder to measure. The number of data centers has been a moving target as the definition evolves, and there isn’t a line item to easily track the cost and savings when data center equipment, systems and ultimately facilities are shut down, Halvorsen said.

Combined, the services have between 140 and 160 data centers.

He said the Marine Corps has closed four or five centers and the Navy, one or two. By 2017, the goal is to have fewer than 25 data centers across the services.

Halvorsen said the services have adjusted terms in their financial systems to clarify data center funds and better track costs and savings. Doing so will help meet a 2017 deadline for the Pentagon to become fully auditable, he said.

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