News | June 14, 2016

Cutler hosts "Ask the CIO" event

By Bonnie Koenig DLA Aviation Public Affairs

Defense Logistics Agency’s Kathy Cutler, DLA Information Operations director, and chief information officer hosted an “Ask the CIO” Town Hall June 8 in the Lotts Conference Center on Defense supply Center Richmond, Virginia.  The purpose of the event was to provide insight on the agency’s current Information Technology initiatives and to answer employee’s questions.

Cutler gave an overview of the Information Operations (J6) resources, the scope of business for fiscal 2016 and future initiatives into 2017-2022. Topics included customer/end user support which includes the Customer Interaction Center, the Enterprise Help Desk, and the IT Help Desk. It also included the business system applications, acquisition support, enterprise data/document services, and infrastructure and hosting development programs.

She explained how IT supports more than just DLA users, stating they also support more than 3 million Department of Defense users, as well as commercial, states, schools, and law enforcement users. Cutler said IT supports any DoD entry that runs through DLA transaction services. IT also supports DLA business systems with eight different acquisition portfolios and 209 applications, as well as more than 170 small business vendors.

Cutler spoke about people and culture support which includes civilians, contractors and warfighters.  She explained current goals which include: delivering IT availability, securely and within compliance; empowering the workforce through communication and training, and providing flexible workplaces; delivering capabilities that meet customer performance expectations; and achieving process excellence and efficiencies in IT operations and services.

In further describing the scope of their business support, Cutler said J6 supports the enterprise data and document services which annually conduct 7.1 billion transactions and catalogs 40.3 million transactions. She said to accomplish this, the IT support infrastructure consists of two primary data centers (Dayton, Ohio and Tracy, California) and has 14 secondary locations and they host and support 65,000 devices.

Cutler said there are a number of efficiencies in terms of dollar savings they will be working toward. They have $1.7 billion in operational costs that need to be reduced. She said their goal is to achieve $613 million in savings and they have already achieved $264 million. One way they have reduced is through application rationalization by determining which software programs are similar in function and performance and also by accessing programs through the Cloud (an internet based computing that provides shared processing resources and data on demand (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications and services)), which will drive down costs for the customer.

In the area of Enterprise Business Systems, they are evaluating processes, the historical average for service delivery, are aware of the customer needs, and are working on efficiencies and are implementing some improvements and streamlining processes to address this area of concern.

Another topic introduced was the upcoming concept of the ‘modern desktop,’ and taking geography out of the workplace. This concept represents accessing DLA information from anywhere with ubiquitous connectivity and mobility products, business system access on laptops, and tablets and iPhones. It also includes ‘evergreen’ software – the latest version and expanded email – more space and easier access. They will continue to improve cybersecurity.

After the presentation Cutler opened the floor for a question-and-answer session.

After the session ended she said they are trying to keep the service delivery and capabilities more robust and in order to better support the warfighter they need to know about and understand the shortcomings they need employees feedback to make the needed improvements.