Mr. Moore is Chief Information Officer for the state of Georgia and Executive Director of the Georgia Technology Authority.
Those of you who attended Paul Cosgrave's presentation at the Georgia Digital Government Summit heard many familiar themes, such as IT consolidation, shared services and the importance of governance.
Cosgrave is the retired CIO of New York City and now a senior fellow at the Center for Digital Government. He said running a city the size of New York is like running a state, so many of the challenges he faced sound like those we are addressing with our IT transformation: reliance on aging and outdated technology, costly and inefficient duplication of IT resources, and difficulty sharing information among agencies.
The IT solutions he set in motion are also familiar, and they reflect the city's strategy to improve the accessibility, transparency and accountability of government.
An IT strategy for NYC
New York is consolidating many of its 55 data centers. He said consolidation and shared services are part of the city's plan for coping with smaller budgets while still being able to make service improvements. He compared consolidation to spring cleaning and said you can expect to uncover lots of dust and spider webs.
New York's highly successful 311 service centralized separate call centers for numerous agencies to provide a single point of access to non-emergency city services. The city also began a move toward greater self-service through e-filings and online registrations to improve accessibility and constrain costs. Cosgrave's description of the shift toward cloud computing and its benefits sounds exactly like our new approach to IT service delivery: agencies pay only for the service they consume, and service level agreements set quality expectations.
Sound advice from one who's been there
Cosgrave spoke about making sure those who are affected have a seat at the decision-making table. He emphasized the necessity of working closely with budget officials but cautioned us against becoming defensive about needed IT investments when confronted with cost constraints.
Most importantly, he urged us to stay focused on business objectives, to make sure we are using technology to solve business problems. That's a good reminder for those of us in the public sector. When the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) recently surveyed public sector CIOs and ranked their priorities, solving business problems was not even in the top 10. Their focus remains on consolidation and optimization, budget and cost control, shared services, and cloud computing - all important concerns, but they mean little if they are not helping to meet business objectives. By contrast, private sector CIOs, according to CIO Magazine, gave top priority to aligning IT and business goals, even ahead of IT cost control, governance and portfolio management, and business process redesign.
From the beginning of our IT transformation, we have kept our sights on reducing risk and meeting business needs. I believe that commitment, coupled with the involvement of agencies, has enabled us to stay on track and move toward a better managed, more mature IT enterprise for the state.