Using cloud-based tools has helped the Small Business Administration (SBA) meet the intent of the Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) program as budget constraints have caused SBA to be more creative with its resources, the agency’s CIO said today.

Speaking at MeriTalk’s CDM Central event, CIO Maria Roat said that an initial challenge for SBA in implementing CDM was the program’s strong focus on using relatively expensive tools. She said that cost issues led the agency – the smallest of the 24 CFO Act agencies – to challenge the status quo.

“Today, CDM sits there, we check on it, we feed data to it, and data goes over to [the Department of Homeland Security],” Roat said. “In the meantime, I got a multi-cloud environment – and I knew that the current CDM platform was not going to meet my needs,” she said. “I had about 40 tools – I got rid of those – I’m down to about 10 right now.”

Roat said SBA is using cloud-based tools to monitor and manage its entire network and to ingest data all the way down to mobile devices.

“I can see that entire footprint, across my entire enterprise for all my users, wherever they are,” she explained. For SBA, Roat said, challenging the status quo allowed the agency to think creatively about data and outcomes.

“It’s about the intent of CDM,” the CIO concluded. “I will feed data all day long, but dictating to me the tools that, as a smaller cabinet-level agency, I can’t afford . . . to begin with,” required thinking outside the box, she said.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.