Modernizing TVA's IT Organization

July 15, 2020 -- Few sectors change faster than the energy industry, but one that does is information technology (IT). Computers and how they are used to manage our lives and businesses have changed significantly over the past 30 years, evolving from mainframe-based workstations to today’s mobile devices and apps. To best take advantage of that innovation, a company’s IT organization must evolve, too.

That’s what TVA’s IT team is now doing. A team of IT managers, union leaders and employees began an evaluation process of the IT organization in 2019. They looked at best practices for other utilities and other federal agencies. They found that TVA lagged in moving from an in-house process to taking full advantage of the innovation and expertise of other firms that specialize in keeping up with the latest IT technology and processes.

As a result of those evaluations, a difficult but necessary decision was made to shift some of TVA’s technology functions to other specialized companies. Many of these companies already provide these same services to other utilities and federal agencies, such as the Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security and Department of the Navy.

Unfortunately, some TVA employees are impacted although, working with union leaders and others, we’ve been able to reduce the total number of positions involved. We’ve also been able to provide additional TVA job opportunities where we can. For those who are leaving, TVA is providing 90 days of full pay and benefits, as well as access to comprehensive outplacement services.

A great deal of misinformation is being circulated that makes this difficult situation even harder. The three companies selected to perform much of this work all have U.S.-based headquarters and workforces. Like their contracts with other federal agencies, their TVA contracts require all work to be performed in the U.S.

Any individual working on sensitive software must pass the same security background checks required of any TVA employee. TVA’s own cybersecurity work is not impacted.

Based on their previous experience serving other federal agencies and utilities with the same demanding security and quality requirements as TVA, we are confident in the ability of each company to meet the requirements of the work. The TVA IT team is currently working with them to ensure a smooth transition that both respects our current employees while ensuring that new innovations to support TVA’s mission will benefit the nearly 10 million people we serve.