The Defense Information Systems Agency’s Hosting and Compute Center (HaCC) built a special cloud portfolio to meet warfighter needs via a user-centered design approach, including features such as self-service password resets, according to an update from DISA cloud lead Sharon Woods.
“We can’t just deliver good IT, that’s not good enough," said Woods, Director of DISA's Hosting and Compute Center (HaCC), during an FCW DOD Cloud Workshop Wednesday. "We have to deliver a dynamic customer service experience so that we’re not just delivering the best value IT but we're doing it in a way that really matters for the customer, that’s solving their problems."
HaCC, which was stood up in October 2021, aligned its Velocity of Action plan within DISA’s strategic plan for the next two years. DISA Director Lt. Gen. Robert Skinner asked HaCC to achieve this plan by accelerating its efforts to connect and protect the warfighter in cyberspace.
As HaCC started rolling out new products, it became clear that it needed to be more than just products, Woods said. HaCC had to provide great customer service to achieve Velocity of Action.
“So, to answer that call, not just for Velocity of Action, but dynamic change because we’re in a time where our near-peer adversaries are an ever-constant threat," Woods said. "We have to move quicker, and we must do more, so HaCC is designing a dynamic customer service experience for our cloud customers, the warfighter."
The warfighter-focused cloud portfolio features three components: agile customer relationship management, self-service support and resiliency for the warfighter.
Woods talked about how agile customer relationship management centers around speed to capability. HaCC doesn’t start a project unless it can deliver some kind of viable product within six months.
“We're focused on iterative micro successes so we’re not just making progress but we’re making incremental progress that lets us pivot to user demand to respond to that continuous user feedback,” Woods said. “It’s that user feedback loop that is a distinguishing feature between just delivering something and delivering something that is responsive to the customer and their experience.”
Woods believes it’s also important to understand the user’s problems and try to solve them instead of falling back on new product development and hoping for the best.
“Based on all of the user feedback and engagements it became clear the customer needed more, they needed more vendors and they not only needed unclassified services but also classified services,” Woods said. “Had we not been focused on agile customer relationship management, I think we would have missed the boat on what the customer really needs and allow the customer to drive where we’re going and not guess.”
The self-service support element fundamentally changes the user experience. The more self-service functionality there is, the more you’re empowering the customer to solve their own problems by the capabilities you're providing, Woods said.
“Implementing self-service password resets was a really big deal and let the customer reinvest their resources from repeatable activities that can be automated into what makes their mission unique," she said. "Automation is a key part of this, to really drive product delivery further than just delivery of our product."