California Reorganizes Tech Structure, While Hawaii Creates Tech Office, To Improve State Efficiency

By Timothy Brett posted Oct 06,2011 08:22 AM


As part of the broader effort to streamline government, several state Governor’s have requested government-wide efficiency reviews and made various efforts to induce cost savings, while aiming to increase overall government efficiency.

In California, Governor Jerry Brown recently introduced a plan that will reorganize the state’s information technology structure to:
  • Establish a common sense governance model that aligns with best practices by aligning IT decision-making across the Executive Branch;
  • Increase coordination and efficiency, reduce costs and improve energy efficiency through statewide IT shared services, common IT standards, and consolidated IT infrastructure; and 
  • Meet growing public expectations for services accessible over the Internet.
Overall, Brown’s Reorganization Plan seeks to consolidate enterprise IT functions under the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) to improve coordination and realize significant efficiencies in procurement and technology implementation. 
Results will be realized by defining enterprise architecture standards across program areas, while providing interoperability and supporting the diverse programmatic missions of state agencies.  In addition, the reorganization will provide a common platform and standards for operations and growth, while realizing efficiencies and enabling a favorable return on investment.
The Governor’s reorganization plan will use a federated governance model, which will ensure the integrated and strategic use of technology resources statewide by bringing together the state’s key IT policy and operating functions into a single organization.  It will also redefine the role of the State CIO and provide the organizational framework for technology leadership. It will further establish an expanded OCIO, with the State CIO serving as the primary point of accountability for, and management of the state’s integrated IT and security program.
The expanded OCIO will include the following existing organizations:
  • The Office of the State Chief Information Officer;
  • The information security functions within the Office of Information Security and Privacy Protection;
  • The Department of Technology Services; and
  • The Telecommunications Division within the Department of General Services.
The expanded OCIO will also gain responsibility for key IT functions, including:
  • Enterprise Information Technology Management;
  • Enterprise Information Security;
  • Data Center and Shared Services;
  • Unified Communications Services;
  • IT Human Capital Management;
  • Information Technology Procurement Policy; and
  • Broadband and Advanced Communications Services Policy.
Elsewhere, the state of Hawaii recently released a report detailing its IT assessment, a critical component in Governor Neil Abercombie’s long-term plan to transform technology to make the state more efficient. 
The assessment, which was conducted by SAIC in close collaboration with state departments, is the first phase of Hawaii’s multi-year initiative to modernize its information technology and information resource management systems.  The goal of the technology transformation initiative is to make government run more effectively, while improving services and reducing costs.
In addition to the assessment, the Governor recently designated Deputy Comptroller Jan Gouveia as Business Transformation Executive to recommend business process reengineering projects with the overall goal of streamlining business processes, increasing efficiencies, reducing duplication of efforts and improving delivery of services.
Under the leadership of newly-appointed CIO Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia and Gouveia, the state will develop a comprehensive strategic plan for statewide information management and technology using the information provided by SAIC. The plan and architecture is expected to be delivered in July 2012.
As reported, Hawaii appointed Bhagowalia as its first CIO in June. He recently served as an official with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).  Bhagowalia is now in charge Hawaii’s newly-established Office of Information Management and Technology, where he will work with state agencies to help modernize Hawaii’s technology infrastructure. 
While developing the statewide strategic plan and enterprise architecture over the next nine months, Bhagowalia is immediately aiming to:
  • Develop statewide IT governance to establish the framework for the new IT strategy, including policies, standards, architecture requirements and IT investment oversight;
  • Prioritize business process reengineering projects and implement performance changes; and
  • Identify opportunities for statewide data center and disaster recovery solutions.
Overall, we believe various governor’s will continue to consolidate and streamline various sections of state government in conjunction with enhancing information technology initiatives in an effort to make state’s run more efficiently.