March 11, 2010 By Matt Williams
IT consolidation in Iowa took another step forward this week when Gov. Chet Culver (pictured) signed legislation that sets a course for the state's governance of technology and expands the state CIO's role.
Iowa's IT consolidation is the centerpiece of a statewide reorganization bill that Culver signed into law Wednesday, March 10. The governor's office said the move will save taxpayers an estimated $125 million.
The legislation augments an executive order from Culver in late 2009 that told the state government to consolidate servers and bring together siloed e-mail systems -- projects that Lorrie Tritch, the acting chief operating officer for the state IT office, is already beginning to work on.
Tritch assumed John Gillispie's duties after he resigned as CIO last December to take a job with an education organization affiliated with the University of Missouri.
The bill Culver signed Wednesday gives the state CIO an expanded role, according to Robert Bailey, communications director for the Iowa Department of Administrative Services, the agency that contains the state Information Technology Enterprise.
"The person who takes this [CIO] position will have more political and administrative power to be able to pull those levers to really be able to consolidate," Bailey said. Culver hasn't set a timeline for naming a state CIO.
Although the state has tried in the past to consolidate via initiatives coming from the Information Technology Enterprise, Bailey said, their effectiveness was hindered because participation was optional.
With the new legislation, all state agencies -- except universities -- will be required to go through the Department of Administrative Services when acquiring and provisioning IT.
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