Redevelopment of Data to Manage Information Effectively

Dorine Andrews, CIO, Peace Corps
1229
2006
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Dorine Andrews, CIO, Peace Corps

Dorine Andrews, CIO, Peace Corps

Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs

I inherited an array of aging technologies and platforms and we were awash in paper driven administrative processes. The lack of electronic document management combined with multiple fragmented and incompatible data sources made information management a challenge. However, the redevelopment of our enterprise platform to more effectively manage information had to take a back seat to our mission of critical systems and infrastructure. Today, we are undertaking the redevelopment of our structured and unstructured data through a two year platform modernization effort. The challenge is that we are attempting to do this while we face federal budget uncertainties and cutbacks.

The areas in business environment where solutions do not exist

Many of the Peace Corps posts volunteers to serve in locations that have poor connectivity. A continuing challenge is providing the bandwidth necessary for many of today’s web and cloud based applications. These posts must have their own instances of applications and databases that we must sync back to headquarters. It’s an old fashion solution, but this is what we have to do.

Smarter way to deliver solutions

Taking complex technical concepts and solutions and turning them into plain English with concrete benefits that our business partners can understand, setting funding priorities, and managing expectations. Providing the overall technology vision, a sense of urgency, and the freedom to innovate, so we can work smarter, save the agency money, and support their technology needs more effectively. I rely on the technical skills and knowledge of my directors and managers to deliver solutions and options that fit within that framework.

Technological trends impacting enterprise business environment

Marketing the Peace Corps brand to the public and potential Volunteers will have a focus on social media and mobile devices. We actively support Facebook , Twitter and the like to get word out about the Peace Corps and its Volunteer opportunities. Additionally, the Peace Corps website has a new world map identifying all the locations at which people may serve. This interactive map allows the user to search by a number of different criteria and then link to the post websites that fit that criteria.

Things done while tuning and elevating IT’s relationship with the business

Each business office within our agency is supported by a Director level OCIO Business Relationship Manager who meets regularly with the office leadership to develop technology plans and provide solutions that will enable greater productivity and decision-making. But, more importantly, the CIO works closely with agency leadership on cross organizational projects that transform major aspects of our agency’s business. This include Volunteer impact reporting, Volunteer recruitment and placement, Volunteer medical support, and Volunteer safety and security.

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