The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is seeing cloud service play a big role in helping the agency drive costs back to business centers and programs, while working with customer experience officers (CXO) to help manage IT as a business, the agency’s top IT official said today.

“We made a conscious decision, in terms of how we were setting up our environment, to make sure that we had the right accounting cost tracking mechanisms in place,” said SEC CIO Dave Bottom at an event organized by Federal News Network. “So, as we’re working with the divisions and offices of the SEC to migrate or build new applications that will be running in our cloud environments, we can directly track those costs back to those applications.”

Bottom also said it’s important when using the SEC’s cloud environment to really understand what the drivers are of using that cloud. When utilizing hardware, he says, you have incentive to get as much use out of it as possible, but with cloud, he wants the opposite.

“I actually have the reverse incentive,” he said. “I don’t want to use the resource because I’m paying by the drink.” He added that understanding the drivers of cloud use – and knowing what the mission and business needs are of a given application or of a dataset – are critical.

On the CXO front, Bottom said that SEC meetings with CXO partners happen on a biweekly or monthly basis, depending on need. Among the biggest challenges discussed with CXOs include a lack of having enough people, and the right people to manage investments and operate capabilities.

“Making sure we have all the right people and the right spots now is actually just as much of a conversation item as we manage our IT as a business … certainly the conversation that I’m having most often now is: Do we have enough right skilled people in the right spots to be able to execute the way that we want?”

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