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Case 3-2: The FBI
Transcript of Case 3-2: The FBI
What do you think were the real reasons why the VCF system failed?
FBI Additional Information
What were the points of alignment and misalignment between the information systems strategy and the FBI organization?
Case 3-2: The FBI
What do you think of the CIO’s final comment about how to change attitudes? Do you think it will work? Why or why not?
If you were the CIO, what would you do to help the FBI modernize and make better use of information technology?
FBI Information and Technology Branch
IT Enterprise Services Division (ITESD)
delivers reliable/effective technology solutions to meet strategic goals and objectives.
IT Applications and Data Division (ITADD)
decrease time to data awareness of available information and make software tools available to the workforce when and where they need it.
IT Infrastructure Division (ITID)
provides IT infrastructure services that are agile and innovative in support of the FBI’s mission.
Hard-copy papers instead of electronic
Unaware of technological advancements that could help them
History: Transformation of the FBI
History: What made the FBI change?
History: The Need for Change
People still skeptical
Manager expected culture to change
Goal aligns with new system
More efficient: less time waiting for the OK and more time saving lives
Agree with his statement
Showing benefits/how it makes work easier will make change easier
Lead by example by using the new system
Offer incentives or rewards
Collaborate for feedback
What is the first thing you think of when you think of the FBI?
How does technology fit into your assumptions of the culture of the FBI?
Has the media persuaded you opinions at all?
Why would it be important for the FBI to have a secure, effective information system?
Anand, Priya. “The FBI Is Struggling to Convince Tech Whizzes to Take Jobs at
Bureau.” MarketWatch, 1 Aug. 2015, www.marketwatch.com/story/why-cybersecurity-pros-dont-want-to-work-for-the-fbi-2015-07-30.
“Information Technology.” FBI, FBI, 3 May 2016,
Pearlson, Keri E., et al. “Case 3-2: The FBI.” Managing and Using Information
Systems: a Strategic Approach, 6th ed., Wiley, 2016, pp. 73–74.
Executive Assistant Director - James L. Turgal, Jr.
IT Applications and Data Division Assistant Director - Tracey North
IT Enterprise Services Division Assistant Director - Jeremy Wiltz
IT Infrastructure Division Assistant Director - W.L. Scott Bean, III
Provide effective information technology to the entire FBI in an environment that is consistent with intelligence and law enforcement capabilities, as well as ensure reliability and accessibility by members at every location or at any moment in time.
1990's: FBI realized it needed an upgrade
Information Technology Plan
To upgrade networks, hardware and software platforms, and use applications
FBI was using computer systems based on 1980's technology
Communication slowed and work was inefficient
Terminals did not integrate with other systems and programs throughout the organization
After the 9/11 attacks, the FBI's need for a robust IT infrastructure heightened
They needed a system that could integrate and manage information across multiple computer systems to support its mission
-“I believe that our move to change the technology in the next two or three years will have a dramatic impact on the way we do business ... giving the agents the tools they need to be interactive ... and free up the bureau in a substantial number of ways.”
The Director’s congressional testimony in June 2002 highlighted his view of the necessity for the FBI to modernize its IT infrastructure.
Approximately 30,000 new desktop computers and 3,689 printers, 1,600 scanners, 465 servers and over 1,300 routers were deployed.
More than 7,500 desktop computers were upgraded.
Old local and wide area networks were replaced with a state-of-the-art secure high speed communications system that now links desktop and databases throughout the FBI.
Employees who require access to a TOP SECRET, Special Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) network can now communicate with the FBI’s partners in the Intelligence Community (IC).
The installation of the Department of Defense’s SIPRNET (Secret Internet Protocol Router Network) meant that FBI employees have greater means to send and receive secure information with their partners in the IC.
Future IT improvements call for replacing 20 percent of the FBI’s oldest IT hardware each year, as funding permits, to minimize obsolescence.
The FBI Today
Implementation of a centralized and coordinated, strategic approach under the direction of the Chief Information Officer.
Today, thanks to skilled IT professionals within the ITB, the FBI has an IT infrastructure that is modern, fast, and secure.
Infrastructure ties together the applications and databases used throughout the FBI.
Web-based software applications are user-friendly, reduce the reliance on paper records, and streamline investigative workflow.
These improvements have greatly enhanced the FBI’s ability to collect, store, analyze, and share information.
As the FBI’s IT infrastructure continues to mature and grow, it also needs to remain flexible to deploy improved technologies and solutions to enable the FBI to protect the American public from terrorist attacks and prevent crime. The ITB remains committed to delivering enhanced IT capabilities that support the FBI’s ever-changing and challenging needs.
History: Transformation of the FBI (cont.)
Lost $170 million dollar Virtual Case File System
Employees use to paper trails, not electronic
FBI and Secret Service began investigating each other as criminals
British had to step in
VCF shut down
FBI building new case management system
Next Generation Identification system