At today's Colorado Digital Government Summit, Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. announced his plan to consolidate all of the state's information technology functions (including statewide IT procurement) into a single organization under the leadership of State Chief Information Officer Michael Locatis. The new technology services organization will deliver on a mission to:
- Secure and protect Colorado's IT assets.
- Optimize spending for IT decisions, projects and technology.
- Effectively manage IT projects.
- Develop enterprise service delivery capabilities versus today's silos.
- Improve collaboration and innovation.
Ritter noted some outstanding efforts, and commended the state's IT employees for their great work with "often times outdated technology and under adverse conditions." He also commended the work of the Statewide Internet Portal Authority (or SIPA) for delivering new e-government capabilities to Colorado's constituents, including delivery of online vehicle registration capabilities now being used in 11 Colorado counties as well as efforts to design a new one-stop-shop to navigate multiple department silos. He further acknowledged State Representative Bill Cadman, SIPA Executive Director Gregg Rippy and State Senator Ron May for their vision and leadership of SIPA.
In recent years, however, the state has faced a multitude if IT challenges -- as stated in Ritter's executive order Improving State Information Technology Management issued earlier this year:
"For years, the state of Colorado has used an uncoordinated, non-uniform approach to infrastructure, purchasing, project planning and delivery, asset management and strategic leadership. This approach has led to redundant purchases and failed or under-performing IT applications.
In addition, Colorado's state government misses the opportunity to pool purchases of IT goods and services and faces greater risks related to security, system architecture and project performance.
These failures have prevented Colorado from being a leader in the provision of efficient government services to its citizens."
Ritter mentioned that last week the Governor's Office of Information Technology hosted a two-day retreat to review his consolidation plan with the state's extended IT leadership team. The retreat was led by CIO Michael Locatis and State Enterprise Architect Ron Huston -- and was attended by the state's 20 department-level IT directors.
In addition Ritter's staff has been working with members of the Legislature to formulate the 2008 legislative agenda to support Colorado's consolidation efforts.
Ritter also announced his "Colorado Promise" is moving forward to form an Innovation Council comprised of top Colorado leaders. The Innovation Council will provide advisory input on important topics including the delivery of state-wide broadband access and the expansion of technology based economic development in the state of Colorado. Ritter emphasized the need for broadband service delivery, especially for rural areas, to provide telehealth and distance education. A formal Innovation Council announcement will be made in October.