When you’re the chief information officer of more than 40 different component agencies, it makes sense to ensure they can all talk to each other. That’s why Joe Klimavicz, Justice Department CIO, is moving DoJ to a Microsoft 365 cloud-based solution. And that’s just phase one, he said.
Four years ago, the DoJ had 23 different email systems. When Klimavicz came on, the department was consolidating down to nine. He’s been working for upward of a year to further consolidate the department to the cloud .
“It’s a suite, and that suite can grow, but again, getting everybody on one email system, one countering system, one set of sharepoints, and we’re tackling the archiving, the records management piece, and then the services can grow from that point on,” he said.
More than 3,000 DoJ employees have moved to the cloud environment, including the Attorney General’s office. Klimavicz said this transition will make communication between components, such as FBI investigators collaborating with Justice prosecutors, much easier.
This is just one aspect of Klimavicz’s push toward a greater focus on shared services in the DoJ.
“In the area of shared services, we will take advantage of the other services that are out there; a lot of contracts — we buy most of our hardware and software through other acquisition vehicles. We just awarded a task order agreement for cloud services, and that is through a Department of Interior contract,” he said.
In addition, DoJ is working with the Agriculture Department on human resources services, and a third department for updated computer hardware. He said that contracts take a lot of time and effort to make happen, so why not take advantage of contracts other departments already have in place?
“My mission, the way I look at it, is to serve and protect and advance DoJ’s goals through information and technology services,” Klimavicz said. “What we really want to try to do is drive DoJ’s information technology services at the pace of American innovation. Everybody goes to conferences, they have really cool technology at home, and I want to see how fast I can bring that technology into the department.”
Toward that end, he’s developed a five-point strategy to refresh the agency direction and support the broader DoJ mission:
Exceed customer expectations — “My view is that it’s not acceptable to meet customer expectations; we need to go beyond. We need to anticipate where customers are going to need technology and how they can use technology to change how they do their job.”
Protecting the mission — “This means cybersecurity, resiliency in services, disaster recovery, and reliability of the technology.”
Innovative about sharing of services and information — “[I’m an] extremely strong proponent of sharing services. It’s the number one way of controlling costs. … Don’t reinvent the wheel. We want to make sure we’re sharing not only within the department but also taking advantage of services that are outside of the department and other agencies. And sharing information is key to adding value — the information we have and also bringing in information from a lot of other components.”
Managing taxpayer money wisely — “We want to manage every dollar as if it’s our own dollar.”
Building a future-ready workforce — “Constantly looking to the future, trying to figure out how do we make sure that the workforce that we have has the right skills, capabilities to take us into the next generation of technologies and capabilities.”
Daisy Thornton is Federal News Network’s digital managing editor. In addition to her editing responsibilities, she covers federal management, workforce and technology issues. She is also the commentary editor; email her your letters to the editor and pitches for contributed bylines.