Oklahoma has saved $40 million so far through its legislatively-backed technology consolidation initiative, according to The Oklahoman newspaper.
Among the 129 government departments participating in the project, approximately 130 IT positions have been eliminated through attrition. The consolidation could take as long as nine years, officials said.
State CIO Alex Pettit said if the state could optimize its usage of fiber-optic network capacity the state already owns, $23 million could be saved over the next five years. Some of that bandwidth currently is underutilized, and some agencies are paying to access fiber offered by private service providers .
“We're paying everyone else for their own networks. That's just nuts. That's just flat nuts,” Pettit said, according to The Oklahoman.
Pettit has served as Oklahoma’s CIO since 2010 and is the first person to hold the position in the state’s history.
Last year Gov. Mary Fallin signed legislation mandating statewide IT consolidation, despite skepticism from some lawmakers that the move would save money. Officials said at the time that a completed consolidation could save the state an estimated $146 million.