Lt. Gen. Susan Lawrence, the Army’s chief information officer, is retiring today after 41 years of service.
Lawrence, who has been the Army’s lead technology manager since March 2011, said in a blog post the CIO’s role was one of the most rewarding positions of her career.
“Together, we have created what I sincerely hope will be irreversible momentum in modernizing our Army and leveraging technology to keep us the most capable force in the world,” Lawrence wrote. “On 18 September, I out-briefed the Secretary of the Army and Army staff on our successes and the irreversible momentum we achieved. The SecArmy praised our efforts and expressed his appreciation for your hard work. The bottom line is that, because of your commitment to excellence and steadfast determination despite sequestration, furloughs and budget constraints, we have an affordable, sustainable network that is secure and effective.”
Mike Krieger, the deputy CIO, assumed acting duties until a new uniformed officer is appointed. Additionally, the Army said Maj. Gen. Stuart Dyer is now the acting deputy CIO/G6 for Cyber and Brig. Gen. Joseph Brendler is acting deputy, CIO/G-6.
Lawrence did not say what her next steps would be.
During her two-year-plus tenure, Lawrence oversaw major changes to the Army’s IT infrastructure and managed a $10 billion IT budget.
She spearheaded the move to email-in-the-cloud provided by the Defense Information Systems Agency. The Army finished the migration of 1.43 million users this summer.
She also helped lead the effort to consolidate data centers. First, she ensured the accuracy of the service’s inventory, which grew to 800 from 250.
Then, Lawrence oversaw the closure of more than 70 percent of the 185 targeted data center closures, and identified more than 1,800 applications for retirement. She said this effort will reap more than $29 million in cost savings.
Both of these efforts were merged into the broader the Information Technology Management Reform (ITMR) implementation plan.
Lawrence said in February, when Secretary John McHugh released the plan, that it will modernize the network and save $1.5 billion a year starting in fiscal 2015.
“Through ITMR, the Army finally will be able to manage IT and the network as a portfolio, improving visibility of our assets, increasing efficiency and facilitating better IT/network decision making,” she wrote.
Part of this portfolio approach is the recently implemented Network Mission Area (NMA), an end-to-end portfolio management approach to optimize network capability investments.
“Over the past several months, representatives from 31 organizations across the Army developed the NMA framework, which uses an annualized repeatable process linking network imperatives from the Army Campaign Plan to IT capability development through the program, planning, budgeting and execution system,” Lawrence wrote. “We are doing this right — synchronizing across the Warfighting Mission Area (managed by G-3/5/7) and the Business Mission Area (coordinated by the Office of Business Transformation), and providing active governance.”
The next CIO’s biggest challenge, she said, is cybersecurity.
“One critical task is locking-in the way ahead for standing up the Cyber Protection Teams (CPTs),” she said. “We must execute this to standard — it is a no-fail mission. It will take the entire team to achieve this goal. To ensure success, we need to identify the right talent and, as individuals are selected, your support to allow them to transition to the CPTs. Our relevancy depends on getting the CPTs into the force quickly and smoothly.”
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