The National Park Service’s Cultural Resources, Partnerships, and Science Directorate continues to answer the Director’s Call to Action #17 Go Digital and #24 Invest Wisely by undertaking a system modernization effort with the National Register Information System (NRIS). This collaborative approach involves the thorough documentation of the existing legacy system, and the development of a scope and statement-of-work to modernize this system on a platform consistent with current industry standards of accessibility and security.
Currently, the NRIS system resides on legacy hardware and software which originally came on-line nearly 30 years ago. While it has been updated several times since deployment, it is operating well beyond its recommended specifications. As the National Park Service adheres to Federal government information technology requirements, and responds to emerging cyber-security threats, it becomes more difficult to close the gap between modern standards and legacy hardware and software.
To address the issue, the Cultural Resources, Partnerships, and Science Directorate formed a multi-program team in April 2013. The team consists of National Register system users, system administrators and dedicated IT staff, whose goal is to clearly document the system data and workflow processes, concurrent with system design standards. The team’s system documentation efforts are nearly complete. When finalized, the National Register program will have greater oversight and transparency with the data and workflows that currently reside in the system, and will have an initial road-map to plan and migrate to a modern platform.
In addition, the cross-cutting team is using the road-map to develop a scope-of-work and gain the approval of NPS Information Resources IT-Planning and Strategic-Investment Committee to modernize the legacy system to an industry-standard platform, while also incorporating best-practices, process updates, and critical data enhancements. In these austere and uncertain fiscal times, we must improve our efficiency and better leverage existing IT resources. Doing so, will enable the National Register staff to focus their expertise and experience on continuing the mission of coordinating and supporting public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America’s historic and archeological resources.