Kansas is embarking upon a new cloud strategy. As we reported last year as part of the 2016 Digital States Survey analysis, the state had previously committed to a shared private cloud project, known publicly as Kansas GovCloud. The three- to five-year endeavor was envisioned as the state's route to a more virtualized environment.

But as state CIO Phil Wittmer explained to us at the NASCIO Midyear conference last month in Virginia, he pulled the plug on the effort. Among the reasons he cited were significant questions about projected return on investment — initial estimates were $33 million, but revised costs were pegged at $50 million. 

"We had not really mapped out exactly how we were going to bring customers on board; it was not going to be mandated, so the cash flow just was not going to work economically," he said. 

Currently, the CIO is reviewing bids on an RFP that recently closed for an outsourced hybrid cloud to replace the previous project. Wittmer also recently selected a vendor for an "innovation partner" to advance the state's transparency goals through the use of mobile technologies.