The Texas Department of Information Resources and state CTO Karen Robinson released the state’s new strategic IT plan this month. Although these types of documents are filled with their fair share of goals, organizational charts and project summaries, there are interesting tidbits to be found.

Here are a few excerpts and statistics that caught my eye. And browse the document yourself in the embedded player below.

Cloud Computing

“With an increasing number of government-specific private cloud offerings, advances in cloud security, and expected economic benefits, there are potential advantages of moving into the cloud. Even though cloud services are still relatively new in government, the model has been tested and is mature enough to be adopted for Texas government.”

Social Media

“DIR anticipates that the Texas Legislature may consider open government, privacy, and information technology security during the 83rd Legislative Session. One subject of legislation may be state use of social media (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, etc.).

"This may require clarifications to existing public information and open meetings laws that were created before social media existed. Regardless of whether existing open government laws are amended to account for this new form of communication, it is likely that the Texas courts will issue decisions that impact the state’s use of information technology and social media.”

Customer Service

In a recent survey, 69 percent of the Department of Information Resources’ customer agencies responded in a survey that they rated DIR’s customer service as positive — a 10-point decrease from 79 percent in 2010. The DIR attributed much of this outcome to problems with the state’s old data center services contract, which was split up among three vendors in a new contract awarded in March.

There is significant opportunity for improvement, the DIR said in the strategic plan. “The advantages of consolidation — including improved services, standardization, security, and disaster recovery — have not yet been achieved; however, the completion of the reprocurement and the new multivendor business model moves DIR closer to achieving those program objectives. DIR expects that with the new contract, service delivery and customer satisfaction will improve, aging infrastructure will be refreshed, and consolidation to the state’s data centers will be completed.”

Statistics

Forty-five percent of the Department of Information Resource’s 188-person work force is eligible to retire in the next five years. Eighty-six percent of employees are age 40 and older.

Seventy percent eligible Texas local government entities use DIR services, a percentage that’s expected to remain constant through 2017.

Texas state agencies and institutions of higher education invest more than $2.8 billion annually on technology resources. The Department of Information Resource’s budget for the fiscal years of 2012 and 2013 (biennium) is $537.5 million.

DIR-2012-ASP

Matt Williams Matt Williams  |  Contributing Writer

Matt Williams was previously the news editor of Govtech.com, and is now a contributor to Government Technology and Public CIO magazines.