With an eye on tough budget conditions and technology solutions that promise to improve government operations, the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) this week released the first part of a policy series focused on IT procurement.

A collaborative effort by NASCIO, the National Association of State Procurement Officials and IT industry group TechAmerica, the new series is focused on IT procurement reforms, drawing from experts across the nation. The initiative is part of NASCIO President Dugan Petty’s vision and agenda, announced last fall at the organization’s annual conference in Denver, where Petty — the state CIO of Oregon — was elected to lead the organization for 2012. The Procurement Modernization Committee was chartered to develop an inventory of best practices for IT procurement, release issue papers and host educational webinars, among other things, according to committee documents.

Part one, titled Leveraging Enterprise Architecture for Improved IT Procurement, explores the benefits of enterprise architecture — a holistic, organizational approach to advancing IT programs that drives cost savings in technology procurements. Among the chief drivers of savings is IT standardization, which lowers the cost of operations, maintenance and training while consolidating purchasing power.

[Download the free NASCIO report on IT procurement here]

The report recommends that IT standards are developed with a balanced approach, based on industry standards, and by including IT procurement officials with a background in both IT and procurement.  Among other recommendations, the report suggests that IT programs develop clearly articulated standards to ensure stakeholders, including the vendor community, have more detailed information and a better understanding of competitive procurements.

According to today’s report, key factors on how enterprise architecture will drive IT savings include:

• decreasing costs by reducing diversity and complexity through standardization;

• simplifying IT investments;

• streamlining negotiations and contract management;

• providing a blueprint for the vendor; and

• serving the state’s vision

To be released in August or September, the NASCIO committee’s second briefing on IT procurement will be aimed at performance bonds, said Carol Henton, TechAmerica vice president for state and local government.

This story originally was published by Techwire.net.

Bill Maile  |  Contributing Writer

Bill Maile has worked as a public information officer and promoter of good government and IT solutions in California. Now he publishes Techwire.net, a blog site and newsletter about the public-sector tech industry in the state. Previously he served as communications director for the state Chief Information Officer and the California Technology Agency. Prior to working at the Agency, he was chief deputy press secretary for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and has spent more than 15 years working in executive offices throughout state government. He has worked for the State Senate, the California Attorney General and Department of Justice, the Secretary of State, Department of Insurance and the State and Consumer Services Agency which oversees the departments of General Services, Consumer Affairs and Fair Employment and Housing, among others.