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OCIO’s Enterprise IT Initiatives

Today’s modern IT leverages enterprise services to simplify operations, improve cybersecurity, and lower costs. Below are the key enterprise IT initiatives OCIO is undertaking as part of this IT Strategic Plan.

  • Cloud First: Modernize OPM’s business solutions from on-premises data centers to the cloud.
  • Enterprise Collaboration and the Hybrid Workforce: Deliver an OPM staff productivity environment that supports and thrives with today’s hybrid workforce.
  • Retirement Services Modernization: Develop Retirement Services technology solutions to improve the retiree experience.
  • Healthcare and Insurance Modernization: Upgrade the Federal Employee Health Benefits solution and implement the new USPS Health Benefits solution with a decision support tool that provides the best customer experience.
  • Modernization: Transform into a cloud-hosted, user-centric site, strengthening and empowering the federal workforce.
  • USA Suite (USAJOBS®, USA Staffing®, USA Hire, USA Performance®, and USA Learning®) Optimization: Develop new and enhance existing online solutions, based on customer experience designs
  • Cybersecurity: Implement today’s cloud-based cybersecurity tools to provide enhanced protections to OPM’s systems and data.
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility: Ensure that all OPM IT systems adhere to DEIA requirements.
  • Business Intelligence and Data Visualization: Leverage OPM’s data to support informed decision making.
  • Enterprise Technology Contracts: Partner with the Office of Procurement Operations so that OPM has the IT contracts in place to support OPM program offices.
  • Technology Separation from the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency: Complete the separation of all IT services from DCSA, allowing the OCIO to focus solely on supporting OPM’s mission.

At the heart of OPM’s modernization efforts is the agency’s use of cloud technologies. OPM’s cloud initiative forms the foundation for building IT services and applications that are responsive, proactive, adaptive, and resilient, and advance OPM’s mission to support and empower a federal civilian workforce of 2.1 million.

The gains from an effective cloud strategy and successful implementation will be enormous, particularly in the agency’s ability to provide better support and more flexibility to both internal and external customers. The cloud strategy also leverages the cloud’s native cybersecurity capabilities, including the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), which protect OPM’s systems and data.

In the future, OPM aims to develop and optimize all new systems and applications for deployment in the cloud. OCIO will evaluate all legacy IT systems while identifying and prioritizing candidates for cloud migration based on value to the business and the effort to migrate the systems. By FY 2025, OCIO’s goal is to have targeted OPM IT systems either moved to the cloud or have plans to move to the cloud.

OCIO’s Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE) is setting standards for cloud use and migration, providing architectural guidance, conducting analyses of legacy applications, and developing the plan for migrating legacy applications to the cloud. As part of the CCoE initiative, OCIO established a FinOps practice to optimize budgeting and cloud financial operations. With this approach, OPM is able to leverage its cloud resources across the enterprise and establish a robust IT infrastructure to support its modernization efforts.

Over the past couple of years, OCIO has made an effort to address OPM needs for improved collaboration tools and capabilities.

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic enhanced these efforts, requiring that OPM facilitate a hybrid work environment for its employees. OCIO chose Microsoft Teams as its preferred collaboration platform. Today, all OPM employees have access to Teams, which enables them to conduct online meetings, chat, share content, etc., wherever they reside. Teams Calling lets employees and contractors make business calls from home, and facilitates Team video calls, chat, and file sharing.

OCIO is implementing another collaboration capability: Poll Everywhere. This capability enables the use of online polling, surveys, Q&As, etc., to engage remote participants. OCIO will continue to assess online collaboration capabilities that may be of value to OPM and its employees.

To support this focus on the OPM workforce, OCIO established the Champions Network, consisting of more than 100 volunteers from across OPM who help communicate and represent their program areas in technology modernization and business transformation. The Champions Network was critical to the successful rollout of Microsoft 365 tools, including Teams and Office, by piloting applications and facilitating and delivering training. These employees act as change advocates and coaches to support their offices as they adopt new work tools. OCIO is planning to institutionalize the use of the Champions Network for all new IT system deployments.

As Retirement Services (RS) modernizes its business operations, OPM’s OCIO will support it with a commitment to providing responsive, intuitive, online self-service, and human-assisted services to federal employees and retirees.

The development and successful delivery of information systems leveraging digital technologies are critical to the overall success of RS’ modernization. OCIO will support the appropriate process disciplines—including IT Agile project management, development, security, and operations (DevSecOps), rigorous component and system testing, and robust operations support—to realize RS’ vision.

OCIO will use its Digital Services team to support RS customer service specialists in making online interactions with users both compelling and intuitive, leveraging digital technologies such as data analytics to support personalization of the experience. These capabilities were already used to modernize the RS Contact Center.

Going forward, every year OCIO and RS will prioritize modernization initiatives based on available resources. These initiatives include:

  • Modernize Janus with an intuitive cloud-based Retirement Calculator for RS staff.
  • Modernize the retirement processing pipeline, to include Electronic Retirement Records (ERR), Online Retirement Application (ORA), and RS Surveys.
  • Modernize Rep Payee with a cloud-based database and user interface to replace the manual form and to help manage a third-party vendor to pay beneficiaries who need assistance managing their funds.
  • Modernize Retirement Data Repository (RDR) to support the life cycle handling of federal employees and enable OPM to analyze the data across the population of federal retirees.
  • Modernize the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution for the Retirement Information Office (RIO).
  • Migrate the Document Case Control System (DCCS) to the cloud.

Taken together, these initiatives will make significant progress toward moving RS away from its current paper-based system and toward a modern digital retirement process.

A related challenge for the RS modernization effort is to migrate all legacy applications off the current mainframe computing environment. These custom applications, written in COBOL, will require refactoring and redeveloping the business logic in a modern programming language. These new applications will be hosted in the cloud as part of the migration. Planning for this mainframe migration is underway, and OCIO understands the importance of treating this as a high-risk program, one that will require prototypes and pilots to demonstrate the soundness of the technical architecture and application refactoring approach.

OCIO will support Healthcare and Insurance (HI) by implementing new portals and decision support tools, which facilitate the direct enrollment of users with various health insurance providers. Like other customer-facing portals, these will be cloud-based and leverage a modern, secure content management system with tools that are user-friendly, intuitive, and accessible.

In particular, the Postal Service Reform Act of 2022 requires OPM to coordinate and collaborate across intra- and inter-agency boundaries, including OPM HI, RS, and OCIO as well as the Social Security Administration, Veterans Administration, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), to establish the Postal Service Health Benefits (PSHB) Program. The PSHB Program will become a separate, dedicated health benefits program for the 1.7 million United States Postal Service (USPS) employees, annuitants, and their eligible family members, and will operate in parallel to the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program.

This effort will focus on creating a superior customer experience for postal employees, annuitants, and their families in accordance with the law and the President’s Management Agenda (PMA) priorities of strengthening and empowering the federal workforce. It will take advantage of a hybrid technology architecture that is modular in nature, including cloud-hosted environments, managed services, and existing systems to provide the most flexibility for any future changes brought on by evolving business requirements and technologies.

Modernizing, the federal employee portal, is an essential investment in technology that will strengthen and empower the federal workforce. is visited annually by more than 22 million federal employees, job seekers, annuitants, veterans, and family members. Federal employees, HR professionals, Chief Human Capital Officers, and departments, agencies, and sub-agencies from across government rely on for insurance, retirement, policy, suitability, and agency services information to support and empower the federal workforce.

The opportunity to transform into a cloud-hosted, user-centric site supports the PMA priorities of strengthening and empowering the federal workforce, and delivering excellent, equitable, and secure federal services and customer experience. Content on will be reorganized, redesigned, and standardized to serve OPM customers. The update will include a more modern, more secure content management system with tools that are user-friendly, intuitive, and accessible.

OCIO’s Digital Services team, which includes customer experience specialists, will support OPM’s ambitious objectives in modernization. These team members design and deliver solutions aligned to the federal career journey map and focus on the tools, customer feedback, and innovations necessary to transform the customer experience with OPM’s systems and websites. The team works with program office partners to establish continuous customer feedback channels, including surveys and focus groups, to guide the agency’s path forward.

Further, the team will use design methods, such as human-centered design, integrating customer feedback to improve key customer portals, such as The team will also solicit innovative approaches across government and industry to enable OPM to move rapidly.

Content on these sites will be reorganized, redesigned, and standardized to serve federal agencies. For example, OCIO will continue to work with Human Resources Solutions (HRS) to create a personalized USAJOBS® experience to help applicants find relevant opportunities, which include evaluating and implementing search engine optimization and ML and AI technologies for personalized search experience improvements. The team will consolidate OPM talent acquisition customer support and modernize user support by evaluating and implementing applicant chat bot technologies.

Additional enhancements to the hiring pipeline will include a candidate inventory that provides hiring managers with direct access to an inventory of qualified and eligible candidates that can be selected without opening a new announcement. This will help agencies improve time to hire while preserving HR’s role in confirming applicant eligibility and qualification. This also benefits applicants when they submit a single application and can be considered for multiple opportunities. The team, in collaboration with OMB’s U.S. Digital Service, will also deliver a Structured Resume Review tool to expand agency access and improve usability, reportability, privacy, and security.

OCIO will continue to enhance the USA Suite and other on-premises applications, based on customer experience. As part of its cloud migration journey, OCIO has deployed tools to assist in estimating the cost and determining when to move the USA Suite and other applications to the cloud.

IT security is critical to OPM. Every OPM executive, manager, and employee plays an important role in helping the agency protect the sensitive data of federal applicants, employees, and retirees. Ultimately, OPM must be viewed as—and serve as—a trusted entity for that data. Given the importance of protecting the personnel data of federal government employees and retirees, appropriate cybersecurity defenses are of utmost importance to OPM. As such, it is one of six goals laid out in this IT Strategic Plan.

Over the past year, OPM has substantially enhanced its vulnerability management capabilities, automating the ability to detect and identify new hardware and software added to OPM’s networks and systems. The agency has also improved its patch management capabilities, so that commercial software is patched proactively to significantly reduce OPM’s systems and data vulnerabilities. Further, OPM has implemented a more efficient incident response capability. This provides the agency a more automated means, where possible, to detect and respond to threats that can undermine OPM’s systems.

This is just the start. The core approach is to embrace Zero Trust concepts and implement an enterprise-wide business and technical architecture. This will include revamping OPM’s business processes and implementing cybersecurity solutions that comply with Zero Trust principles, so that the agency can verify that all people and processes accessing OPM systems and data are authenticated, both to their identity and their need for access.

OPM will also seek to integrate cybersecurity more directly into its software development practices through adopting DevSecOps practices and an enterprise approach to a Software Development Pipeline (SDP). This will enable cybersecurity professionals to integrate in the teams that build OPM’s systems.

A successful cybersecurity program is not just about the implementation of technical solutions. OPM embraces the concept that everyone has a role in the cybersecurity program and understands that role. OPM is providing tailored training to all employees in the agency on safe practices when they use OPM online systems and access sensitive data.

OCIO supports the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility’s (ODEIA) mission and vision to elevate and honor the OPM workforce by drawing from the full diversity of the nation, seeking to achieve an equitable and inclusive workforce, and striving to become a model employer accessible to all. OCIO will support the PMA and this program by ensuring that all IT systems in OPM meet federal guidelines for accessibility, adhering to Section 508 guidelines so that OPM maintains an accessible technology environment for users with disabilities.

An essential element of enhancing customer experience is to make better use of OPM data, consistent with the Privacy Act and guidance from OMB. This will enable OPM to better serve the federal employee and retiree population.

The Human Capital Data Management and Modernization (HCDMM) Directorate is responsible for all data across OPM. During FY 2021, OCIO partnered with HCDMM to enhance the collection, utilization, and accessibility of human capital management data to address recent Executive Order 14035 requirements and align with the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018, Pub. L. 115-435 (Jan. 14, 2019).

This human capital joint effort enabled HCDMM to provide critical OPM HR data in a recent White House report. Using enterprise standard tools, HCDMM extracted and distilled needed personnel data for senior White House officials. OCIO will continue to support HCDMM in its efforts to better harness and leverage HR across the federal government.

OCIO has made business intelligence (BI) and data visualization capabilities available to OPM employees. Through the use of an enterprise standard business intelligence application, OPM employees can access a robust set of business analytics tools. In addition to standard data analytics and visualization capabilities, these tools have embedded ML and AI and comprehensive reporting capabilities to aid users in gleaning insights from all types of datasets. OCIO will continue working with HCDMM and other OPM program offices to provide new tools and capabilities as needed, prioritized via the IT governance model.

For example, OCIO, HCDMM, and HRS are working together, within the Data Analytics Infrastructure Assessment Working Group and the Data Visualization Working Group, to build enterprise government-wide dashboards (e.g., to show job posting and hiring outcome metrics for federal hiring, and to show demographic and engagement data on federal employees and the federal hiring process).

The information will be sourced from current OPM data sources to include USAJOBS®, USA Staffing®, Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS), and Enterprise Human Resources Integration (EHRI), and will enable government-wide agency access to HR data to inform decisions on HR policies.

To simplify the OPM IT environment, OCIO is committed to having OPM enterprise contracts in place that support many of the IT services and products that the OPM program offices need. In collaboration with the OPM Office of Procurement Operations, OCIO already has enterprise capabilities in place to provide data analytics, customer relationship management (CRM), large file transfer, and enterprise scanning capabilities, to name a few.

By leveraging the IT governance process, OCIO will work with the OPM program offices to continue to identify and assess other opportunities to implement enterprise contracts that can benefit some or even all of the OPM program offices.

While national background investigations work is now the responsibility of the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA), OPM OCIO is still responsible for supporting a number of legacy systems. While OCIO will continue to support such systems over the next couple of years, it is important that this migration is completed to free up resources for OCIO to focus solely on OPM-related work.

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