Governor Robert Bentley and his predecessor both convened several meetings of elected officials and county business leaders to press for a solution.

On March 21, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley signed several pieces of legislation intended to increase efficiency across government agencies -- one of which, SB 117, was focused on streamlining state IT.

SB 117 establishes the position of Secretary of Information Technology, responsible for identifying ways to save money and improve coordination among the state’s IT networks. The Secretary of IT will also develop and implement a responsible plan to coordinate the purchasing, management and use of IT across state agencies, according to a press release from the state.

“Our Secretary of Information Technology will help us organize IT to make it more efficient, to save taxpayer dollars and to make it more secure,” said Bentley, pictured at left. “By improving coordination, we can make sure we’re spending money wisely and saving money where we can."

Currently, there is little coordination of state-level IT policy, which has resulted in incompatible IT systems. In addition, the state has been unable to realize cost-savings benefits that come from buying in bulk across state agencies.

Bentley will appoint the Secretary of Information Technology in the near future, according to the state, and a legislative oversight committee will review the appointee's performance.

Sen. Phil Williams, who sponsored the legislation, underscored the importance of the state having someone to make sure IT is operating as efficiently as possible. “The signing of this bill marks a positive step toward significant cost savings for state IT functions," Williams said.