After decades of decentralized IT management and spending, the State of Ohio is implementing an IT Optimization strategy to change the way the State does business. The main objective of IT Optimization is to lower the State’s total IT costs and redirect those savings into improved IT services and into programs and service/s that benefit Ohio citizens and businesses.
An IT Transformation Program Office was organized in January 2013 to define the approach and tactical plans to support implementation of the IT Optimization strategy. The strategic components of IT Optimization are enabled through improved IT planning, reduced infrastructure complexity, increased use of enterprise applications/solutions and employing business intelligence tools. We have made significant progress over the last ten months.
Nine multi-agency subcommittees, consisting of 100 representatives, met over a six month period to develop the tactical transformation plans. The subcommittee’s recommended approach can be divided into three distinct focus areas:
• Private Cloud Expansion: The expansion of Ohio’s private cloud involves the consolidation, standardization and integration of the State’s highly distributed technical infrastructure into a centrally managed computing and networking environment. With a private cloud in place, agencies will need to spend less of their resources on infrastructure and focus on the development of applications that directly serve Ohio’s citizens and businesses. Much of the work associated with expansion of the private cloud environment is already well underway, with efforts such as the State of Ohio Computer Center (SOCC) Remediation and Server and Storage Virtualization. Efforts will continue with the unifying of multiple agency networks into the Ohio One Network.
• Enterprise Shared Solutions: Enterprise shared solutions address common technology needs by providing tools and application platforms that promote collaboration, communication and data analysis across multiple agencies. Enterprise shared solutions will provide a platform for common service application development. The implementation of a number of enterprise shared solutions are already in progress including our enterprise resource planning system – the Ohio Administrative Knowledge System (OAKS), Enterprise E-mail, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), eLicensing, ePayment and Business Intelligence Platform initiatives with plans to expand to all agencies.
• Online Government Services: Ohio provides a number of online government services today. Due to the rapidly changing landscape of technology and how customers of State services access information, past practices need to be revisited and refocused. Online services will be provided to consumers in a new and enhanced fashion that is user-friendly as well as reliable, secure and accessible from a variety of devices. Current online government service initiatives include Integrated Eligibility and the Ohio Business Gateway, strong consideration is also being given to the expansion of a citizen portal.
We continue to make progress in these three focus areas, saving over $20 million in an opportunistic and ad hoc manner. Cost savings are expected from several sources, including consolidation of infrastructure and economies of scale in operations and enterprise-wide purchasing power. It is a continuous process of looking for opportunities to increase efficiency, reduce complexity, and eliminate redundancies.
By implementing a strategic and consolidated approach through IT Optimization, the State can realize an estimated $150 million in annual savings and enable the business of government. However, this is only possible if we act and move as an enterprise. More to come, but we are transforming and enabling the way we do business in Ohio.