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Chapter 7: Issues
Building Consensus for Moving Forward

Issues

The vision presented in this paper raises provocative issues that must be resolved as we move forward. Achieving the five goals will require a major cultural transformation and effective change management. This chapter presents several major issues that must be resolved. The Department plans to tackle these issues head on and forge a broad-based consensus on approaches to their resolution.

DTS-PO

This paper calls for the use of commercial services and competitive practices to enable the Department to obtain the high capacity, scaleable, and secure global network needed for the e-Diplomacy of the next millennium. The Department and DTS-PO's current approach to networking must change dramatically – we must provide higher bandwidth and better service, at lower prices. Plus, we must provide flexible and elastic network services, including alternative paths and technologies, to ensure that diverse requirements are met. Achieving these goals will require changing the relationships between DTS-PO and its customer agencies, establishing more business-like arrangements, such as Service Level Agreements to specify roles, responsibilities, and expectations. The Department also must be prepared to work with DTS-PO to explore alternative service providers, keeping options open to ensure continuity of service at competitive prices.

Security

Standard security solutions must be developed to support the global connectivity demands of the diplomacy of the 21st century. These technical solutions must be coupled with ongoing programs for operational, technical, personnel, and physical security. The Department, with DS and IRM in the lead, will continue its focus on IT vulnerability analysis and evaluation, user awareness training, incident handling and recovery, and new security technologies – all in the context of an overall security architecture.

Personnel Resources

A main thrust of this paper is that the Department will streamline, automate, and centralize operations to the maximum extent possible. This should arrest the current growth in demand fortechnical and administrative support overseas. Unfortunately, the complexity and design of today’s modern systems have increased demands for support personnel, and as a result, the Department’s IT workforce is understaffed. Unless the Department reduces system complexity, consolidates services, implements effective enterprise management, and implements aggressive training, the need for support personnel will rise dramatically. IRM will work with the Bureau of Personnel and Foreign Service Institute to address the IT workforce issue.

IT Architecture

An IT architecture will be developed to assist Department managers in implementing the vision put forth in this paper. The vision addresses more than just the network and implies fundamental shifts in business processes, data modeling, and application design and placement. The IT architecture will move the focus from common components to common services, and how they are made available to all application areas. Security will be strengthened and integrated across allthe IT architectures. The IT architecture will emphasize providing best service at lowest cost.

Cultural Change

The current culture equates formal communications with cable traffic. The command and control cable paradigm drives information management in the Department. Modern diplomacy demands robust communications, both secure and unclassified, that the cable system cannot provide. While e-mail can support a wider variety of information formats, it does not address the total set of future requirements. Workflow, web access, and document management tools, all supported by security technologies, can provide an integrated and robust solution that can enhance end-user service and overall system security.



Chapter 8: Next Steps
Actions We Must Take to Move Toward Our Vision for 2005


The Department is well positioned to move rapidly toward its vision for 2005. By following its current IRM Tactical Plan (TP), with adjustments as priorities dictate, it will complete the necessary foundation work needed for the "jumping off point" at the end of the century.

The Department will establish a dedicated project team to promote the long-range vision presented in this paper and to help coordinate the critical projects that must be completed by the end of 2000. This team will work with the Bureaus and other stakeholders in the international affairs community to carry out the next steps highlighted below. Work will begin immediately.

Next Steps through 2000
  1. Obtain Consensus on Vision – The team and other IRM staff will provide mechanisms to debate the issues raised by this paper to forge a consensus on a vision for the future. This consensus vision will be the basis for the new Strategic and Tactical Plans and other planning and budgeting documents.


  2. Plan and Implement Technology Demonstration Laboratory – Virtually all of the technology components needed to accomplish Goals 2005 are available today. The trick is assembling them for effective use to meet Department of State needs and concerns, such as security and reliability. Accordingly, the project team will identify and assemble necessary components and create a demonstration laboratory to prove the concepts, such as use of the Internet and ready access to international affairs applications that are the bedrock of the long-range vision. The laboratory will support an evolving series of demonstrations to explore key technical, security, and functional concepts and capabilities.


  3. Update IRM Strategic Plan – The team will update the IRM Strategic and Performance Management Plan to conform with this paper and with the current International Affairs and State Department Strategic Plans.


  4. Begin to Resolve Issues – The team will work with the CIO and other stakeholders (e.g., DTS-PO, DS, PER, FSI, etc.) to formulate an approach to addressing the issues identified in Chapter 7, as well as other issues that surface during review.


  5. Develop Architectures – The Architecture Division in IRM will develop a comprehensive set of architecture documents to reflect the consensus vision. The architectures will conform to OMB guidelines and will provide guidance to aid the Bureaus in their IT planning, acquisition, and development.


  6. Coordinate Assessment of and Adjustments to Key Tactical Plan Projects – Important initiatives that have long-range implications – such as world-wide messaging, global network development, security, and enterprise management – will be assessed and adjusted to conform to the goals in this paper. The team will analyze projects from an enterprise perspective to identify voids, duplications, and inconsistencies, and ensure that projects reflect priorities.


  7. Plan and Conduct Pilots – Once the technology demonstration has proven the concepts, selected technology components and environments will be piloted in real-world situations, especially overseas posts.


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Glossary

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