Goal 5: Enhance IT Investment Management and Governance


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The agency response to the COVID-19 pandemic has strengthened CDC’s focus on modernizing legacy technology systems, capabilities, and infrastructure while identifying opportunities to improve the processes the agency employs to acquire, manage, and govern IT and data investments. To continue CDC’s efforts to build the technology systems and capabilities of the future, the agency will improve the transparency and effectiveness of IT and data investment decisions through more efficient, streamlined and visible decision-making and governance processes while also enhancing agency IT regulatory compliance.

Objective 5.1: Improve IT investment decision-making by enhancing investment transparency and improving governance.

Objective Description:

To address public health challenges, it is vital CDC has access to the modern tools and technologies needed for the mission. However, the rapid pace of technological change means existing tools can become quickly outdated, requiring deployment of a more diverse, modern set of tools. To maintain pace with technology advancements and corresponding costs, CDC will continue to improve IT investment decision-making through investment and governance processes that are data-driven, responsive, and comply with IT investment management best practices such as category management. Through the establishment of clear, yet flexible guardrails for new IT investments and the implementation of the technology business management (TBM) taxonomy–a common framework for categorizing investment–CDC will continue to increase the transparency and effectiveness of IT investment decision-making.

Objective 5.2: Improve IT and data governance across the agency.

Objective Description:

The complexity of the public health environment makes good governance an important part of ensuring that scientists and decision-makers have access to the right information at the right time. Governance is also key to enhancing the approval of strategic and efficient IT and data investments. This objective focuses on several key areas that are essential to improve CDC IT and data governance, including the effectiveness of CDC governing and decision-making bodies, oversight of CDC’s IT portfolio and enhancement of investment review processes, and investment in and use of enterprise solutions. The structure, processes, and visibility of IT and data governance will continue to be refined, including clearly defined roles for governance oversight, management, and assurance functions. Improvements to the IT investment review process, which increase sustainability planning and address future use and relevance of investments, is also a critical outcome of this objective. In addition, agency-wide governance activities will prioritize support for DMI by increasing collaboration, accelerating exploration of shared solutions to common problems, and prioritizing the use of enterprise solutions.

Objective 5.3: Improve IT regulatory compliance across the enterprise through greater information sharing.

Objective Description:

Many federal requirements impact the purchase, access, and use of information technology by government agencies. CDC embraces its responsibility to comply with federal mandates and best practices, without limiting our ability to adapt to an evolving public health landscape. The focus of this objective is to advance compliance activities that accelerate public health IT and data modernization. Efforts to increase IT investment transparency (e.g. TBM) and encourage enterprise investment in shared services (e.g. FITARA) advance CDC’s ability to communicate the value of our investments in information technology. Communicating the value of the investments we’ve made helps in turn to accelerate adoption of more efficient processes and more life-saving technologies. Likewise, the necessity to rethink how we manage and access data (e.g., Evidence Act and Federal Data Strategy) expands our capacity as an agency to make evidenced-based decisions, supporting and accelerating CDC’s Data Modernization Initiative. As we improve our ability to meet current mandates and anticipate future federal requirements, CDC will continue to work closely with HHS, federal, and industry partners to meet our commitments across the public health ecosystem.

Outcome and Mission Impact:

The nature of the public health mission and the current IT and data operating environment requires the CDC to be even more agile, resilient, and transparent in IT investments, decision-making, and compliance so that the agency has the technological capabilities and financial resources required to meet the nation’s public health needs. Coordinated and compliant IT investment decisions made through efficient and data-driven processes foster the improved allocation of scarce financial resources that are critical to achieving the agency’s desired public health outcomes. To have agency technology capabilities enable the public health mission, CDC must have the ability to seize the opportunities surfaced by the continued rate of technological change, the response to COVID-19, and emerging legislative mandates. To seize emerging technology opportunities and have the greatest public health impact, CDC must continuously improve how it makes IT and data investment decisions while adhering to complex regulations.

The Office of the Chief Information Officer is part of CDC’s Office of the Chief Operating Officer.

Page last reviewed: February 24, 2022