Nebraska CIO Ed Toner
Collaboration was the theme that ran through the afternoon session featuring Nebraska Chief Information Officer Ed Toner and Ohio Deputy Director of Enterprise Shared Solutions Deven Mehta. More specifically, each described instances where the state took the lead on projects where a shared system or asset benefited both parties.
In Nebraska, Toner described a call the state received from a county with a server that had been out of service for three days. The state had them up and running on their virtual server in four hours, paying 10 percent of what they were paying for their on-premise server. In fact, Nebraska is well on its way to full migration of all of the state’s 93 counties’ servers to the state system. So far, more than 70 counties share state infrastructure, saving them a significant amount of money, according to Toner. “We’re going to get them all sooner or later,” he said. What helps get the word out is Toner’s blog, where he writes about many of the successes they’ve enjoyed.
Toner went on to give several other examples of money-saving shared-services projects, like a shared permit system with the cities of Lincoln and Omaha, and Network Nebraska, a shared telecom backbone that serves nearly 300 public agencies.
Mehta described Ohio’s massive IT transformation that began in 2012, aimed at reducing complexity, as becoming more efficient and saving money. From the outset, the vision for the undertaking included finding ways for local governments to participate in and benefit from the state’s modernization efforts.
Among the examples Mehta offered of putting this idea into practice was the state’s data warehouse in central Ohio. Cuyahoga County now houses its data there, which saved them $12 million upfront, as well as $1 million in annual operational expenses. Similarly, the Ohio One Network is made up of 2,250 miles of 100 GB connectivity, which connects more than 750 state and county buildings and sites across the state.