Information Technology (IT) plays a pivotal role in the transformation of VA into a 21st century organization as envisioned by the President and Secretary Shinseki. IT is an enabler for implementation of the Secretary’s 16 Transformational Initiatives, which cannot be executed without newly developed IT products. These initiatives are key to improving VA’s service to Veterans.
The VA IT enterprise is a massive single, consolidated network with 152 hospitals, 791 community-based outpatient clinics (CBOC), 57 benefits processing offices, and 131 cemeteries and 33 soldier’s lots and monument sites. Our OIT workforce numbers over 7,100, serving over 300,000 VA employees and more than 10 million Veterans. Within our $3.1 billion FY 2011 budget, OIT manages a technology profile of over 314,000 desktop computers, 30,000 laptops, 18,000 blackberries and mobile devices, and 448,000 email accounts. These figures describe an IT enterprise that is one of the largest consolidated IT organizations in the world. Managing an organization of this size and scope requires disciplined management and processes. Various IT governance bodies exist to address business requirements, planning, prioritization, resourcing, and technical aspects of information technology.
Effective information technology governance enables centralized decision-making to address business needs and align IT strategy, systems, services, and processes to the Department’s strategic goals. Appropriate information technology governance in concert with a tone of cooperation among the VA stakeholders has made and will continue to make it possible to effectively address many complex problems and issues at the second largest agency in the Federal Government.