Gerry Weaver, CIO, Indiana Benign Dictatorship/Technology Management Changes Save Indiana Millions Photo courtesy of Gerry Weaver

easy to change," Weaver said. "We did this carefully because we knew if we had one failure, people would want to back off. We never did have a failure."

The IOT accomplished the e-mail consolidation by establishing thorough agreements with individual agencies about their specific support needs.

"For example, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles is up on Saturdays," Weaver said. "They're not open on Mondays. State Police has a different requirement than everybody else. The Department of Workforce Development does a lot of their work on Sunday evening. In each of those cases, we had specific business agreements we defined, and then we measured against those business agreements," he said.


Data Center Central

Agencies managing their own IT led to many underused servers and the unnecessary maintenance cost. The IOT consolidated the state's five data centers into one.

Weaver's staff reorganized servers and deployed more efficient storage technology. Before the consolidation, some data centers doubled as storage facilities, housing stacks of cardboard boxes containing government property.

"There were about 3,000 servers around the state, and now we're less than 2,000. By consolidating on one e-mail system, we can eliminate a bunch of servers," Weaver said. "We also use VMware to have virtual servers wherever we can."


Budget Magic

Assessing its vendor contracts made Indiana realize it had a vastly better bargaining chip than executives realized. Some vendors had several different contracts with the state, all at different prices for the same product.

The IOT inserted itself in the technology purchasing approval process conducted by the IDOA. That agency no longer approves technology purchases without the IOT's agreement. The IOT established standards for statewide bulk purchasing, eliminated purchases from some vendors and renegotiated contracts with others.

"I can't even tell you the number of cell phone plans we had," said Adam Horst, deputy director of the Indiana State Budget Agency. "Everybody was on a different plan. No volume, no sharing of minutes across users, just people accumulating huge overages."

The IOT negotiated a cell phone "family plan" for the state, saving $1 million.

Unified standards, bulk purchase quantities and better negotiating at the IOT led to more beneficial contracts. That interested local governments, especially school districts.

Horst said the IDOA previously offered bulk-purchasing contracts to local governments, which rightly avoided them.

"They weren't good deals, and they weren't well publicized," he said. "The locals and schools were saying, 'Why would I ever buy off that?' They might do their own regional consortium and buy together locally or through some other entity."

Pleasing the public schools and other local government entities paid off for the IOT. Roughly two-thirds of purchasing through the agency's $31 million PC deal with Dell comes from local governments.

The state now replaces all state workers' PCs every four years and pays for the new equipment from the consolidation savings. The savings that funds the PC refresh is in addition to the $14 million in annual savings the IOT claims as a result of the consolidation.

The IOT also deployed Intel's vPro motherboard technology that automatically shuts down PCs at night. It saves Indiana $400,000 annually in electricity bills.


Equal Classes

Indiana's pre-IOT technology landscape created disparity among state agencies. Federally funded agencies, such as the FSSA, could afford to update their technology regularly. But agencies without federal funds, like the Indiana Department of Correction (DOC), could not, said Jake Moelk, CIO of the Indiana State Department of Health.

"A lot of times with DOC, they'd wait until the FSSA got rid of something, and then they'd glom on to that stuff because it was a lot better than what they had before, even though it was

Andy Opsahl  | 

Andy Opsahl is a former writer and features editor for Government Technology magazine.