Sustaining IT Consolidation

State of Wyoming

Business Case for Sustaining Information Technology Consolidation

Executive Summary
Wyoming Session Law 2012, Chapter 30, Section 5 provided the direction for Information Technology (IT) Consolidation, which included the process for the review of IT related positions. As we are preparing the final recommendations for Governor Mead, the need for a sustainability model has been identified.  

IT is in the unique position of having to innovate while simultaneously planning obsolescence of the latest invention in order to avoid becoming an indentured servant to technology as it ages. Therefore, the State Chief Information Officer (CIO) carries the mandate to guide IT through periods of creative destruction and disruptive innovation.

Even though the State of Wyoming’s initial phase to consolidating shared services and other IT functions will be completed in twelve months, sustainability requires a long-term commitment. While quick wins are important in gaining momentum, lasting change requires a dedicated, sustained effort within and across agencies.

A core principle that must be acknowledged in IT consolidation is this: the Department of Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) cannot succeed if our business partners (agencies) fail. The symbiotic relationship between ETS and State agencies must be valued and preserved. This principle requires a model that prioritises Agency Director needs and concerns. To continue meeting agency expectations, we must ensure IT is responsive, sustainable and effective.  

To maximize the potential for success, a process of ongoing Executive Branch review address:
  • Vacated subject matter expert (SME) positions
  • Position reclassifications
  • Past decisions to ensure best choices were made
  • Preservation and protection of data ownership within the individual State agencies

Business Problem and Opportunity
Once the consolidation of shared technology services is facilitated through the creation of ETS, sustainable service excellence becomes the benchmark of success. An appropriate sustainability model will ensure the longevity of centralized IT and deliver the Governor’s technology vision into the future.

Though IT consolidation has been discussed in the past, the steps initiated by Governor Mead and the Management Audit and Joint Appropriations Committees have been instrumental due to the focus placed on centralizing common and shared services. We are taking the necessary steps to deploy a customer driven approach providing centralized IT services while maintaining the autonomy and protection of agency data.

We define excellence through our customer’s eyes. Their vision is always evolving and we evolve with them. We don’t think outside the box, we think beyond the plane where the box exists. We are at our best when we unleash the potential of our teams and our customers, remove obstacles, cultivate the opportunities and scale success.

Proposed Project Objectives/Performance Metrics
The objective of the sustainability model is to continue the efforts of supplying centralized IT services for the agencies and establish an avenue for agencies to provide input on the quality of service they are receiving.

Through the implementation of a Quality Management Model, which is based on the direction given in W.S. 9-2-2906 (b) (xiv), performance metrics are being developed to ensure customer satisfaction and employee engagement.

The Quality Management Model will establish a performance excellence through continuous improvement framework. Performance excellence is the result of continual improvement driven by customer needs, requirements and expectations. This approach includes being able to articulate the areas of improvement and disseminating the details to all stakeholder groups. The process of achieving performance excellence is based on the following assumptions:
  • In general, our employees want to do the right thing and be successful
  • The majority of the problems employees face are the result of a limitation of the system and we, as leaders, have a responsibility to fix the limitations
  • It may become necessary to fix one part of the system, but for long-term performance excellence it is not sufficient

Business Risks
There is a potential risk of State agencies creating new IT Departments in isolation through the reclassification of existing positions, leveraging secondary skill sets of existing staff or through exception requests to the Legislature. Moving from a decentralized IT model to a centralized one has saved the State a million dollars in the first year. Transitioning back to a decentralized IT model will be at an additional cost to the State.

Based on the information presented and the need to sustain a IT centralized model, we are making the following recommendations to the Office of the Governor.
  • Executive directive to provide ongoing review of Executive Branch IT positions as they come open, are reclassified or are requested to ensure proper placement of common IT services.
  • Provide periodic review of IT consolidation progress and provide for corrections as identified.
  • Include IT consolidation expectations during the ongoing evolution of State government, the appointment of agency heads and review of agency budgets.