The United States Geological Survey’s (USGS) Office of Enterprise Information (OEI) provides the critical information management and technology (IMT) foundation for the USGS’s mission to provide reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth. Starting in 2013 and ending in 2016, Xentity worked closely with the USGS’s OEI. We provided both architecture support and records management, providing production services and program strategy.

Support for Architecture Design, Planning and Management

There were two major issues the OEI had been facing at the time of the contract. The overall IDIQ required support for enterprise and solution architecture design. Also, planning and management support for over 5 programs at the USGS. Also, they needed a team to support the USGS’s Information Services Branch. This included enterprise records management support for the bureau’s standardizing digitization of science information. Basically, they needed a team of experts in data program strategy and production operations.

Xentity provided direct support for the OEI’s Chief Information Office (CIO) Support Services for transformation in application services management. We mainly focused on managing the re-engineering of over 5,000 USGS websites to a new platform. We also hosted service portfolio analysis for migration to cloud, service catalog development, co-location, vmail modernization, Data Center SLA development, and network capacity re-engineering. Furthermore, we provided solution advisory services for OEI supported IT Program Policy support, strategy and program planning, portfolio management, architecture support services, IT infrastructure planning, and Solution Oversight. And we provided information management expert analyst support services in programs and laws such as the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

In addition, we aided the OEI with their Records Management through the planning and management of USGS Cloud Hosting Solutions (CHS) Project. We developed cloud acquisition project schedules, SharePoint App registry data model, cloud business model, IT spend plan crosswalk, reading room material, and hosting migration framework. We collected a list of intended applications/services for the USGS Cloud. Finally, we coordinated with sub-teams on tasks such as mapping processes to cloud operations, met with sub-teams for systems such as Domain Name Systems (DNS), Identity Services, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), and Account Management/Billing, and prepared the RASI (Responsible, Accountable, Support, Informed) Matrix for near-term tasks. 

Transforming Into Cloud

Our most crucial role during these contracts could best be described as ‘support’. As mentioned before, we provided design, planning and management support for over 5 programs at the USGS. Our efforts namely helped OEI reengineer, transform and migrate application services and portfolio analysis to cloud. Then we helped manage the CHS project. Cloud hosting (or computing) is the on-demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage and computing power. And this is without direct active management by the user. This here is the important benefit to consider. As more systems become cloud-based, the management of data becomes simpler. And the USGS became yet another program that decided to make their “data lives” easier.