March 2, 2005 By Government Technology
The task force was made up of elected officials, government officials, and most importantly, Delaware citizens working in the private technology sector, she said, and the task force recommended that the former state IT organization be completely dissolved and rebuilt from the ground up.
"The key was to rebuild our IT agency, not as a typical civil-service agency, but more similar in structure to the private sector, with performance-based pay and salaries based on market conditions," Minner said. "This has tremendously increased the talent pool within our IT organization and has made it the envy of many other state agencies."
None of this would have happened if Minner had not acted on the recommendations of the task force. Her office used the results of the task force as the foundation of IT reform legislation that the state's General Assembly passed into law.
As many states have found out the hard way, the executive and legislative branches agreeing on just about anything is difficult enough, let alone on a radical restructuring of a state agency.
Delaware's small geographic size, coupled with its strategic location near the East Coast's major cities, provides the state with unique opportunities in the technology environment, Minner said.
"Although our population is relatively small, we have a highly skilled and educated technology work force, including many who opt for early retirements and second careers in state government," she said. "Our Legislature is smaller than most -- with 62 members -- and the collaboration between our corporate leaders, legislators and community activists is made easier since most know each other on a first-name basis. It is still relatively easy to bring statewide decision-makers together quickly when necessary."
-- Shane Peterson, Associate Editor
Watching a Different Bottom Line
Since being appointed CIO in March 2003, Matt Miszewski has built a long list of credits.
He implemented an "extended enterprise" approach to IT management, which makes local governments direct partners with the state in major IT projects. Miszewski coordinated efforts to reduce IT-related spending across state agencies by $40 million for the 2003-2005 biennium. And as division administrator for the Wisconsin Division of Enterprise Technology, he implemented initiatives that save an additional $30 million per year at state and local levels.
Miszewski thrives on what he calls a different yet more compelling bottom line than what exists in the private sector. "In the private sector, the bottom line is well defined and easy to articulate -- profit," he said. "The bottom line for us is simply different, harder to define, difficult to measure but far more compelling."
He said the public-sector bottom line is about working toward stronger families, healthy kids, great schools, better health care, a better economy and a sustainable fiscal picture for state government.
"Waking up every morning and understanding that the trials and tribulations of the day are all aimed at accomplishing that bottom line makes the work not only enjoyable but energizing."
The challenges are great in state government, and one of Wisconsin's biggest upcoming is deploying a single ERP system for the state. "We have over 52 different agencies and boards, which have grown accustomed to differing business practices and systems to support these practices," Miszewski said. "In cases where those practices are aimed at the same business function, we will have to harmonize the process throughout state government."
That will be an enormous challenge but one that Wisconsin has a head start on, Miszewski said.
"We will address it by listening actively to the
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