NOS's Information Management Office (IMO) plays a central role in providing IT infrastructure for NOS and NOS-wide IT governance (which includes strategic planning and policy development).
NOS successfully relocated its primary IT data centers to the NOAA Enterprise Data Center in Ashburn, Virginia, during the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2021. This relocation also allowed NOS to modernize the infrastructure that provides the backbone to all NOS IT systems and establish more robust networking routes to major cloud service providers. The relocation was performed with little to no production impact to NOS IT customers.
In FY 21, IMO cleared the decks to identify, prepare, and facilitate procurement of a new, modern phone and voice system to replace the 2,517 phones in use at NOS. IMO ensured continued voice connectivity while the change was implemented by using a cloud-based system. Now, users can remain mobile while making and receiving calls directly from computers and tablets, with no need to change their phone numbers.
In collaboration with other NOAA line offices, NOS led development of the NOAA Data Strategic Action Plan. The plan is a roadmap for implementing the NOAA Data Strategy, with the goals of maximizing the value of data assets with a consistent and transparent approach to data governance, stewardship, access, and use. It also ensures NOAA is well-positioned to meet the administration’s legislative and policy requirements. As of this writing, the plan is currently undergoing final approval by the NOAA Executive Council.
Year two of the COVID-19 pandemic introduced continued challenges for IT support and network access. IT staff continued to refresh, deploy, and troubleshoot equipment and software with outstanding customer support for a workforce of full-time teleworkers. During this time, NOS also upgraded 65% of the workstations to Microsoft Office 2019, with close to 100% of some NOS offices receiving the upgrade.
The NOS Data Management Working Group developed and presented a first-ever plan to NOS deputy directors that aims to increase IMO’s ability to manage data consistently, and comply with the growing number of laws, policies, guidelines, and requirements surrounding data management. The project will have three stages and will continue into 2022. It will pave the way for a unified NOS data management program and respond to the growing demand for NOS data availability.