Your browser does not support JavaScript!

Archived Page: 2021 Network News

Hello. You have reached an archived page. Content and links on this page are no longer being updated. Looking for a service? Please return to our home page.

November 2021
Volume 20, Number 11

From the CIO

CIO Nelson Moe
CIO Nelson Moe

We’re starting off November with some great news. We’re excited to share that the Commonwealth of Virginia just earned a National Association of State Chief Administrators (NASCA) 2021 Innovations in State Government award for customer service and experience for a digital customer service portal created for the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth. We were honored to work with a team of experts from the offices of the Secretary of the Commonwealth and Secretary of Administration on the project, and I’m very proud of all at VITA who were involved. You can read more about the award below.

Speaking of November, tomorrow is a big day in Virginia as statewide elections will be held. Many major races will be decided, including those for Governor, as well as all state House of Delegates seats. We’re proud to partner closely with the Virginia Department of Elections to ensure that all technological systems are secure, load-tested and ready to safely transmit data with speed and accuracy. Our team’s main focus is that voters feel confident in the elections process, associated security measures, and our team’s ability to serve them well.

As we look toward the rest of November, I want to thank our colleagues at VITA who served in our nation’s armed forces. Thursday, Nov. 11, is Veterans Day. We are so proud of our employees, more than 20 of them, who served, and we’re grateful that they’ve answered the call to service both in the military and now for the Commonwealth.

Finally, with the holidays nearly upon us, I wish you a healthy and joyful season. I encourage our VITA team members to take some well-deserved time off to spend with loved ones and refresh.
I hope all of you have a happy and bountiful Thanksgiving!


Commonwealth of Virginia wins top national award for innovation in state government

The Commonwealth of Virginia recently earned the National Association of State Chief Administrators (NASCA) 2021 Innovations in State Government award for customer service and experience. The award recognizes the Commonwealth’s launch of an innovative, digital customer service portal for Virginians seeking government services through the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

The offices of the Secretary of the Commonwealth and Secretary of Administration, as well as the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA), partnered to create the portal, which intakes requests ranging from restoration of civil rights to board appointments, and has streamlined hundreds of thousands of process requests for residents of the Commonwealth. Please join us in congratulating the digital innovation and technology (DIT) team for their hard work and fantastic achievement! 

NASCA’s Innovation in State Government Awards highlight best practices in state government operations and leadership. 

Learn more from NASCA’s national award announcement.    

Watch the video to learn more about the project directly from Secretary of the Commonwealth Kelly Thomasson, Secretary of Administration Grindly Johnson and the VITA DIT team!

VITA IT Project Management Summit - Save the date! 

VITA is pleased to announce the ninth annual VITA IT project management summit has been scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 9. The theme of the virtual summit is “A Year of Change 2021.” Agency project managers are highly encouraged to attend. Registration is $75 and is open to state and locality staff only. Continuing education credits are offered.  

Project managers (PMs) need to adapt and focus on new ways of managing their traditional tried-and-true project management processes to meet a changing environment. The summit will provide many opportunities to address project managers’ needs in today’s ever-changing environment: new skillsets, the latest updates about working in the cloud, security compliance, disaster recovery and conquer the challenges facing them while working remotely.

SWaM Spotlight: Growing Commonwealth businesses through competition

With the announcement of Governor Northam’s Executive Order 35 and the establishment of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the administration’s commitment to supporting small, women- minority- and service disabled veteran-owned businesses (SWaM) in Virginia is clear. There are currently 14,078 SWaM certified businesses who compete with much larger businesses for millions of dollars of state business each year. The number of state agencies using SWaM businesses has grown in all of Virginia’s 133 localities. However, the need for competition among suppliers continues to be self-evident: to continue to grow SWaM businesses and opportunities in our Commonwealth. The Governor’s executive branch agencies must continue to support the small business community through competition, in order to give SWaM companies the opportunity to engage and win the Commonwealth’s business. 
As the “Top State for Business,” as noted by CNBC, Virginia strives to level the playing field through competitive contracting with suppliers large and small. Virginia IT Agency (VITA), in partnership with the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD), and many other state agencies, make it a priority to increase SWaM support and opportunity through use of the state’s IT contingent labor (ITCL) contract for their agency IT resource needs. VITA’s ITCL program enables state agencies and public bodies across the Commonwealth to engage IT resources provided through a competitive process and an open subcontractor network. This program has provided opportunities for small, medium and large staffing and consulting firms, 200 of which are SWaM companies. For more information on the VITA ITCL program, please visit VITA’s ITCL webpage.
Stay tuned in the coming months for success stories about working with SWaM businesses in the Commonwealth and ways you can share your stories as well.

Coming Soon: Zoom 

Zoom will soon be available for Commonwealth of Virginia agencies to order. Zoom is a cloud-based video conferencing service that enables users to meet virtually with others via video and/or audio. VITA will offer the Zoom for government version (authorized for use by federal and state agencies) that allows agencies to share and communicate sensitive data.

For more information, please reference the Zoom FAQs via the VITA knowledge base

VITA extends current mainframe contract until June 2024 

VITA has been collaborating with agencies that utilize the mainframe to determine how to best manage the end of our mainframe services contract. The current mainframe contract ends June 2, 2022, with extensions to June 2, 2024.   
As a part of market research, we received many responses to a mainframe services request for information (RFI). Changing providers would require significant agency involvement and the implementation could take from 12 to 36 months, depending on the approach.  
Mainframe customers requested we avoid any changes to the service to allow them to focus on moving off the mainframe. Additionally, agencies committed to be off the mainframe before June 2024, which is when the current contract ends. Therefore, we’re exercising the two option year periods concurrently, which will extend the current mainframe contract until June 2024, and not plan for additional mainframe services beyond this date. We will continue working with agencies to stay coordinated on plans and progress for this migration and will monitor for the need to adjust the approach.   

Coming soon: Actuals vs. forecast variance report introduction and training sessions 

The multisourcing service integrator (MSI) is conducting a technology improvement project to move key processes and deliverables of the IT financial management (ITFM) tool, Digital Fuel, to a new platform—Apptio. As part of the move, additional ITFM tool capabilities will be deployed in the coming months to support consumption demand forecasting and actual vs. forecast variance reporting. 
The initial rollout of actual vs. forecast variance will begin in mid-November, while the implementation of consumption demand forecasting is planned for later in the fiscal year. For the initial rollout, consumption actuals will be sourced from chargeback billing in Digital Fuel and the forecast will reflect the input you provided in June. Once both chargeback and consumption demand forecasting reside in Apptio, actual and forecast data will automatically populate the variance report.
In November, we will schedule introduction and training sessions to review the actual vs. forecast variance reporting. Once you’ve had a chance to explore the variance reports, we welcome your feedback on usability, clarity and completeness, as well as any suggestions for improvements. 
Further details on introduction and training sessions will be forthcoming. 

Exception requests needed by Nov. 15, 2021, to keep free Box accounts

VITA is now considering exceptions, to be submitted no later than Nov. 15, 2021, for agencies that are using their Commonwealth login/email to access a non-COV-owned Box tenant to conduct Commonwealth business. Agencies with this business need should submit an exception request to VITA for those free accounts that should not be deleted at the agency. 

Those exception requests must be submitted to the VCCC IT Support in order to remain active.  

Annual kids safe security poster contest

The annual Kids Safe Online poster contest has been launched for 2021. The goal of the program is to engage young people in creating posters to encourage other young people to use the internet safely and securely. All public, private or home-schooled students in kindergarten through 12th grade are eligible to participate. Entries for the 2022 contest are due Jan. 12, 2022. Email submissions to A parent may submit their entries for home-schooled students directly to MS-ISAC. 

The top five Virginia winners from each grade group (K-5, 6-8, 9-12) will be entered into the national competition. Entries received may be used in national, regional and state cyber and computer security awareness campaigns. The official rules and topic suggestions are included with the entry form. Please include the following entry form completely filled out (all fields are required) when submitting the poster. 

Learn more about the contest and download the 2022 poster contest entry form.

Laptop refresh efforts continue to be affected by COVID-related supply chain disruptions

As previously noted, COVID-related supply chain disruptions continue to affect laptop-refresh efforts at agencies around the Commonwealth. Agencies are encouraged to review lead times before making any laptop-refresh ordering decisions.

Another reminder, VITA has procured 900 of the Dell 3551 Mobile Precision laptops to alleviate the strain caused by global supply chain issues. The laptops are in stock, and it may take 30+ business days to receive the laptops as the supplier works quickly to reduce a backlog of many backordered items that have been delivered.

Below are the ordering guidelines for the Dell 3551 Mobile Precision laptops, as well as the device specifications and pricing:  

  • Ordering through the catalog – For quantities of 20 or fewer, agencies should submit orders for net new devices using the catalog. Please note: Orders will be filled on a first in, first out basis. The average fulfillment time from when the order is placed until the device is installed for the customer is two weeks. However, due to the demand currently in the environment, an additional one to two weeks may be required to fill customers’ needs.  
  • Ordering through the request for solution (RFS) process – For quantities greater than 20 devices, agencies must submit orders using the RFS process.   

The Dell 3551 Mobile Precision laptops should not be ordered for refreshes or as replacements for previously submitted orders. Nor should previously placed orders be canceled. Orders canceled now will lose their place in line with the manufacturers and there is no guarantee of improved lead times in the future.  

Please contact your agency IT resource (AITR) for more information and any questions. 

New ITRM document revision posted for review and comment

The following revision to an Information Technology Resource Management (ITRM) document is now available on ORCA for review and comment. The review period ends on Nov. 15, 2021. Information Technology Resource Management (ITRM) IT Risk Management Standard SEC520-03 establishes a risk management framework with the minimum program activities applicable to Commonwealth of Virginia (COV) agencies. This document defines the lowest acceptable level of information risk management program activities and data objects required for COV agencies that are in scope to this standard. 

Changes to this version of the standard include updating language in:

  • 2.0 - Quantitative Risk, changing the 'Center for Internet Security' to '18 CIS Controls' 
  • 4.4 - IT System and Data Sensitivity to match SEC501 
  • 4.4.2 - Item 2 required data set template to be attached to the system security plan 
  • 4.7.2 -  Vulnerability Scanning Requirements 
  • Appendix A - Risk Management Framework Core to match new 18 CIS Controls

Please share with all applicable agency staff who may have an interest. 

Information Security Tips

Tips for Cybersecurity Awareness

This month’s edition of Information Security Tips looks at the best way to protect your organization and yourself, which includes being able to recognize potential cyber threats, understand their significance and sharing that knowledge with others. The weakest link in many cybersecurity programs is people. They make mistakes, it’s bound to happen. But if you can raise your end users’ awareness about cybersecurity across all of the platforms and devices they use, it can drastically reduce the likelihood of a mistake happening. 

Read Information Security Tips