Coleman: Mobility made GSA HQ move possible

By Jack Moore
Federal News Radio

The General Services Administration has led the government’s charge into cloud computing, mobility and a new generation of service contracts to match them.

Fresh off the agency’s cloud email transition, which Chief Information Officer Casey Coleman said is “up and running,” GSA has taken an agencywide — not just a projectwide— perspective on return on investment for its mobility initiatives.

Coleman joined the Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Amy Morris live from the 2011 Executive Leadership Conference in Williamsburg, Va.

The agency is moving many of its employees back into its main headquarters — a move that would not have been possible without greater mobility and initiatives, such as telework and hotelling, Coleman said.

Casey Coleman (left) talks with Federal Drive anchor Tom Temin.
“So, a big part of what we’re working on is the business case — not just as the return on IT investments, but the return for the business, the return for the mission on the IT investments. So, we look at it much more broadly than just the project ROI. It’s really the agency ROI.”

Coleman also touched upon the agency’s recent cloud-computing migration.

She said there’s still some work remaining, such as moving archives and shutting down servers.

“We’re now in the process of doing administrative back-office work, but to the end-users, Google is up and running and we’re live in the cloud,” she added.

As with any new system there’s been a learning curve, Coleman acknowledged, but she also cited the benefits, such as the constant software updates that cloud computing allows.

As for the future, Coleman said the biggest focus reamains on the move back into GSA headquarters, which has involved a “complete renovation” Coleman said.

While some parts of the building will retain their historic look, GSA HQ will be “open and airy,” she added.

Standing offices will be located in the core of the building so sunlight will permeate directly into the buildings “for everyone to enjoy and to benefit from,” Coleman said.

The agency has also signed an agreement with SalesForce for an enterprise version of its customer-relationship management software. In addition, GSA will examine its business systems for greater efficiencies, Coleman said.

Check out more interviews and coverage from the 2011 Executive Leadership Conference.