the infrastructure. "Everyone saves money because they are using a shared resource," said Baheti. "The ability to bring in departments and local governments is critical to our success, and likewise is the ability to have them each pay only for their share of the costs into the DGS."

On the Horizon

With the initial portal up and running, California IT officials have shifted attention to populating the site with new e-government services. The state recently created a $10 million fund designed to finance innovative projects and IT policymakers are promoting the concept that future e-government applications must be quickly installed and easily shared among agencies and ready to grow.

Baheti said the portal eventually will house a series of central applications to handle core tasks such as payment processing, permitting and licensing, and forms management for agencies throughout the state. "Theres no reason to build these systems over and over again, which is what we do now," he said.

Cortez insists the unified approach taken with Y2K and the initial portal development will continue as Californias e-government efforts evolve.

"In the past, systems were developed myopically for a program solution. They were not cross-cutting," he said. "That old, stovepipe methodology is going away."

Steve Towns, Editor Steve Towns  | 

Steve Towns is the former editor of Government Technology, and former executive editor for e.Republic Inc., publisher of GOVERNING, Government TechnologyPublic CIO and Emergency Management magazines. He has more than 20 years of writing and editing experience at newspapers and magazines, including more than 15 years of covering technology in the state and local government market. Steve now serves as the Deputy Chief Content Officer for e.Republic.