The transformation of the state’s IT enterprise from the operations side has garnered much attention. But there is another, equally important change taking place.
We are also transforming how the IT enterprise is governed.
Many of the changes in governance have been subtle, and they have occurred without great fanfare, but their importance and impact on the state are just as critical as anything we are doing in operations. In fact, these efforts are linked, and one cannot succeed without the other.
A good example is the oversight of enterprise IT policies by GTA’s Board of Directors. At its September 11 meeting, the Board adopted one of its most far-reaching policies. The Management of IT Operations policy established the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) as the official basis for IT infrastructure management, service delivery and support.
For the first time, it will be state policy that government agencies will follow industry standards in processes, terminology and performance measures, which will contribute to improving the maturity of the state’s IT enterprise. The external service providers chosen for the state’s IT infrastructure and managed network services will also be required to use ITIL. In so doing, the state will leverage a common, auditable and industry accepted framework for managing our IT environment.
GTA has issued a new Technology Project Management standard. This standard is based on the Project Management Institute’s Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). The standard provides guidance to executives within agencies who are planning IT projects. This guidance will help agencies ask the right questions about project management, and it will help agencies, and GTA, speak a common language. It is a fact that projects are more likely to succeed if best practices are consistently applied and if executives have ownership and oversight of projects. With this new standard, we will help executives understand the language of project management and create an auditable framework for projects that we believe will improve our ability to complete projects successfully.
Under the leadership of Governor Perdue and GTA’s Board, the state is also entering a new era of information security. In March, Governor Perdue issued an executive order requiring agencies to submit annual reports about their information security programs. At the same time, the GTA Board approved 27 new enterprise policies, and GTA approved 40 accompanying standards for use by all state agencies.
Once again, we are basing our efforts on best practices. These policies and standards follow the model of the National Institute of Standards and Technologies in support for the Federal Information Security Management Act. Annual information security reports along with our new policies and standards will help to ensure that the state’s information security controls are consistent across the enterprise.
GTA’s Board is not the only state body with responsibilities for enterprise IT governance. The Critical Projects Review Panel - comprised of state COO Jim Lientz, state
Last fall, the PeopleSoft Program Governance Council was established to create and enforce policies for the state’s enterprise resource planning system. PeopleSoft is used by more than 80 state agencies and organizations, and the council is charged with setting business processes and deciding on system changes and upgrades. Like the Critical Projects Review Panel, the council is also comprised of representatives from state agencies and key members of the Governor’s staff.
The council had no time to waste.
Governance will also be critical to the success of the state’s technology consolidation and outsourcing. State agencies will be asked to take an active role on bodies overseeing our external service providers.
Building the state’s IT governance has been a quiet transformation. For the first time, we have comprehensive, executive-level oversight of the IT enterprise – from establishing policies, setting priorities for how taxpayer dollars will be spent on technology, and managing IT projects to ensure their success.
For the first time, we are applying industry best practices to every aspect of running the state’s technology systems, and we are seeing positive results. The heads-down, hard work is paying off.