A few million in cost avoidance here, another few million there, and pretty soon, you’re talking real money. Kevin Wince knows all about that: His team helped the General Services Administration save an estimated $12 million on unnecessary IT applications between fiscal years 2015-2020, and now he’s heading to the Homeland Security Department to help it do the same.
The first step to modernizing is knowing what you have. When he joined GSA in December 2013, Wince and his team undertook a massive data cleansing effort, simply to figure out what digital infrastructure and tools were already parts of GSA’s arsenal.
But an inventory is one thing; overhauling the enterprise architecture for the agency that provides everything from pencils to office buildings is quite another. And for that, you need stakeholder buy-in.
“My vision was that I didn’t want it to be an EA tool, and I didn’t want it to be an IT tool,” Wince told WashingtonExec. “I wanted it to be a tool for everyone in GSA,” something everyone could use not only to track their own data, but to also leverage insights from other departments across the agency.
That was the beginning of GEAR, the award-winning GSA EA Analytics and Reporting tool, which Wince and his team built in three months using open source and agile development practices. By February 2015, the tool was up and running.
“We started using Google Analytics in October 2015,” Wince said. “Over the last 20 months, we’ve had over 7,200 unique GSA users access GEAR, with a 76 percent return rate.” In total, the site has had over 160,000 page views.
On June 26, Wince will join DHS as its new executive director for enterprise architecture. He’ll be working directly under Chief Technology Officer Michael Hermus. Wince’s first step? A listening tour.
“I don’t want to be that guy that comes in and just says, ‘Here’s what we’re doing,’ from day one,” he said. “The goal is always to listen, find out the good and the bad, and after the listening tour, start to put together a plan.”