DoD is on track with requirements set by OMB for security and procurement considerations related to adoption of cloud computing but still has work to do regarding workforce planning aspects, the GAO has said.
It said that partial progress has been made on identifying the future skills needed for cloud-based services and conducting regular evaluations of customer experiences and user needs but that DoD has not yet “developed and executed communication plans to inform employees of changes related to using these services. Addressing these workforce areas is essential to realizing the benefits of cloud computing,” a report said.
For example, it said that under 2019 OMB guidance, agencies are to identify potential skills gaps that may emerge as a result of a transition to cloud-based services and equip existing staff to keep up with the technology. While DoD has “identified the need for conducting skills gap analysis for transitioning to the cloud” it has not conducted that analysis and has not put forward a time frame for including cloud related positions or skills in its workforce framework, GAO said.
Also under the guidance, agencies are to conduct regular evaluations to “ensure that their solutions successfully foster efficiency, accessibility, and privacy.” GAO said it found that while DoD has “examples” of such collection, “these activities were not happening consistently throughout the department.”
“Until DoD conducts a skill gap analysis to identify future staffing needs for cloud-based services, conducts evaluations of customer experience and user needs, and develops a communication plan that helps employees understand changes, the department will have difficulty anticipating and responding to changing IT staffing needs. This will increase the likelihood that DoD will face challenges in controlling human capital risks while developing, implementing, and operating its IT systems within the cloud environment,” GAO said.