New York state consolidated all state and county IT security contracts with McAfee Inc. into one contract today. The move slashed costs, enabling compliance with mobile device encryption requirements from the New York State Office of Cyber Security and Critical Infrastructure Coordination. Agencies were supposed to have installed encryption on all mobile devices by Dec. 31, 2008. However, once that date passed, the New York State Office for Technology noticed a low compliance level.

"We discovered a lot had to do with the cost; agencies couldn't afford it. It was one of those unfunded mandates. Encryption was an expensive commodity," said Rico Singleton, deputy CIO of New York.

The state had already begun exploring a potential McAfee consolidation of antivirus software in September 2008. After December, IT leaders rolled encryption software into the consolidated contract it was developing.

"It was to put a contract in place to give the agencies the ability to acquire and deploy software that they had already made a decision to utilize to protect their infrastructure at a lower cost, while also giving them the ability to expand the use of it into other products," Singleton explained, offering encryption as an example.

New York purchased two software suites from McAfee called McAfee Total Protection for Endpoint Advanced and McAfee Total Protection for Data. The new contract cost $5.7 million for three years of service, representing a 75 percent "cost of ownership" savings, compared to the cumulative costs of the various independent contracts with McAfee, Singleton said. His team got the 75 percent figure by calculating how much this current crop of services would have cost if purchased through the numerous prior contracts.

"It would have cost us about $32 million to buy that level of protection for this entire state," Singleton said.

"During these fiscally challenges times, cost savings must be a focal point with every transaction," said Melodie Mayberry-Stewart, CIO of New York and director of the Office for Technology, in a statement.

Andy Opsahl  |  Features Editor