The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) generates and manages some of the nation’s most important data sets, including those that support climate and weather analysis, forecasting, information on tides, ocean temperature and severe weather warnings. NOAA’s mission is multi-facetted and is supported by multiple line offices, staff and field offices, and hundreds of data centers located around the country. NOAA supports its mission with a distributed IT infrastructure, which over time has become increasingly costly and dated.
To keep the organization technologically current and cost-effective, in 2010, NOAA embarked on a 10-year, $2.5 billion IT modernization project - NOAALink. NOAALink’s scope includes rationalizing IT and telecommunications requirements, establishing enterprise IT standards, creating effective governance, and fostering strategic partnerships within NOAA. While the effort is far-reaching, the goal is simple: to provide NOAA with the technological backbone it needs to continue performing and growing its scientific, social, and national security missions.
NOAA engaged The Ambit Group to help stand-up and manage a program management office for NOAALink, as well as to provide strategic information technology services, program management, and executive decision support.
Through a Strategic Management Services (SMS) contract, Ambit established the policies, procedures, and daily operations for the NOAALink Program. We also helped NOAA oversee hundreds of integrator tasks. The full scope included:
- Evaluating NOAA’s enterprise environment and making recommendations for the modification or adoption of new systems, processes, and procedures
- Aligning IT program requirements to NOAA’s mission, vision and goals
- Instituting portfolio and project methodologies in accordance with PMBOK standards
- Maturing NOAA’s enterprise-wide program management capabilities
- Providing executive decision support by identifying key strategic issues and analyzing their connections across the organization
- Instituting a metrics program to demonstrate improved efficiencies
- Standardizing the assessment and reporting on contractor performance quality
- Conducting communications planning, marketing and outreach such as training programs, maintenance of the NOAA Link website and executive reporting
Results and Accomplishments:
Within the first six months of the “go-live” date, Ambit brought together 109 individual requirements sets and consolidated them into 40 acquisitions, resulting in $17 million in savings in IT hardware, software and services purchased. In FY12, NOAALink processed $90M in procurements and helped the government realize a 17% savings. Ambit developed and delivered NOAA’s Data Center Consolidation Strategic Plan, brought improved automation to the program office, provided additional higher-value services to NOAA’s IT infrastructure, and greater cost-savings for NOAA’s IT purchasing overall. Ambit continues to support NOAALink, serving as a trusted partner in the effort to strengthen NOAA’s IT management and delivery of shared enterprise services, and advance its vital national mission.