Oklahoma is advancing an IT consolidation effort that the governor says would save the state approximately $146 million, according to a story published Monday, April 4, by the Tulsa World newspaper.
Spearheaded by Alex Pettit, Oklahoma’s CIO, the plan is centered around three main points: eliminating IT duplication; standardizing how the state operates technology; and reducing the state’s 1,200 personnel working on IT services to increase efficiency.
Pettit believes the state’s seven computer mainframe systems are significantly underutilized and is confident that he can move operations onto two of the existing mainframes. The transition could be pricey, however, as it could take up to a $100 million one-time investment to make the change.
HB 1304, legislation that would enable Pettit’s reform effort, passed through Oklahoma’s House of Representatives on a 52-45 vote last month and is currently in the state Senate. The plan is facing opposition from some lawmakers who are skeptical that consolidation will be more efficient and result in savings.
If the bill is passed by the Senate, Gov. Mary Fallin is expected to sign it, as she has pushed for IT consolidation to help balance the state’s budget.
Pettit has served as Oklahoma’s CIO since 2010 and is the first person to hold the position in the state’s history.