Financial Affairs

The SBA quickly expanded to administer pandemic relief. The reduction will be more difficult for its IT

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After nearly quadrupling the number of people supporting COVID-19 loan assistance programs, the Small Business Administration must now prepare its IT infrastructure for the possibility of downsizing, IT director Keith Bluestein said.

SBA will shrink ‘apparently’ at some point and needs a cloud-based platform that can not only scale down but scale up, in the event of a new crisis, Bluestein said during a ATARC webinar Thursday.

the White House solicited the industry for laptops and other mobile devices that enabled SBA to quickly on board approximately 6,000 employees in less than 60 days to support the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Disaster Lending efforts. But scaling is easier than shrinking, and potentially saving again.

“Now that we know we’re here, how do you make sure you have an elastic and resilient infrastructure? Bluestein asked.

The cloud is the answer. But the Management and Budget Office‘s Intelligent cloud The strategy encourages agencies to move wisely to the cloud.

SBA is currently deciding how best to harmonize its siled business operations, which are not yet optimized for the cloud, so that it can ultimately contract and expand its IT infrastructure as needed, Bluestein said.

Only with a strong cloud-based platform in place can SBA quickly build IT workflows in a disaster like a hurricane, rather than standing in the middle of a crisis.

“I’ll tell you I don’t have that,” Bluestein said. “I’m looking to develop this at SBA. “

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