Frontis Wiggins, chief information officer (CIO) of the State Department, released his strategic plan for Fiscal Years 2017-2019 on Dec. 8.

Wiggins’ IT Strategic Plan (ITSP) focuses on three primary goals: innovative diplomacy, global IT infrastructure, and IT business management. State tweeted about Wiggins’ appointment at the department Dec. 8. He previously was acting CIO.

In his plan, Wiggins says his first goal is to deliver advanced capabilities to encourage collaboration, knowledge management, and analytics. He says interactive tools are a good way for people within the department to communicate with each other and forge relationships with other organizations. Several Federal agencies, such as the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), have harnessed their data sets into an open data portal. Wiggins calls for a similar “centralized knowledge” repository for State.

“Not only will these repositories serve as a portal to shared knowledge, they will expedite our ability to reduce the number of paper-based processes and records,” Wiggins said in the ITSP. “Improving knowledge management will increase our capacity to enable faster retrieval and more accurate results. Coupled with evolving knowledge management tools, we will facilitate for our users better insight and a heightened understanding of the vast quantities of knowledge and information available to them.”

Wiggins’ second goal is to modernize the agency’s IT infrastructure so that employees, including foreign service officers overseas, can have access to information quickly. To do this, the plan outlines the need for increased cloud adoption, more data center consolidation, and secure remote access. State will use the National Institute for Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Risk Management Framework to guide their cybersecurity practices, the plan says.

The third goal is to use advanced business management practices to deliver more “user-friendly” products. Wiggins states that complying with the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) “will increase the efficiency, consistency, and transparency of our business operations.” ConsularOne, Consular Affairs’ modernization initiative, aims to consolidate or replace the functionality of more than 90 systems. The plan says that cultivating a talented workforce and improving customer transparency will help the agency achieve the best business results.

“It sounds simple enough, but we must think boldly to identify and implement forward-leaning solutions that support operational tempo and real-time diplomacy. We must take calculated risks to give our customers reliable products that access the department’s data and allow our diplomatic workforce to make informed decisions,” Wiggins said in a message attached to the ITSP. “We must maintain optimal performance of IT systems while protecting our users, information, network, and global IT assets. We must promote accountability through transparent communication with our customers and stakeholders.”

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Eleanor Lamb
Eleanor Lamb
Eleanor Lamb is a Staff Reporter for MeriTalk covering Big Data, FITARA, Homeland Security, Education, Workforce Issues, and Civilian Agencies.