The growing investment in technology and IT solutions naturally comes with caveats with regards to price. CIOs from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Department of Energy (DOE), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) remain conscientious of making sure the planet does not pay that price.

During today’s General Services Administration (GSA) Live Webinar Event: Data Center Sustainability Summit FDIC CIO Sylvia Burns, DOE CIO Ann Dunkin, and EPA CIO Vaughn Noga spoke about the benefits of transitioning from government-owned data centers to commercially-owned facilities, cloud computing, or software-as-a-service that can help the Federal government reach sustainability goals.

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“I think modernization gives us a huge opportunity to be sustainable, so where we can reach our goals in terms of our guidelines for how we want to save energy for how we want to reduce our datacenter footprint,” Dunkin said. “But the monetization activities — if you’re building a modern, scalable, cloud native application — by definition, you’re going to be able to be more sustainable because if I can spin those servers up and spin them down as I need, but I’m using less energy.”

Part of remaining sustainable also means being cognizant of which data makes sense to move to the cloud and if one can support a research mission moving data back and forth.

Balancing data center management and mission transformation is a unique task for agencies, as Noga pointed out. For EPA, he says it’s important for industry to bring their A-game for innovation.

“I will say one of one of my messages to industry is … bring us innovations,” Noga said. “My budgets not growing — I suspect facility and are probably the same. Our budgets are fairly static when it comes to it. So, we have to innovate from with what we did, you know, the embracing of cloud technologies optimizing how we’re providing services internally.”

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