Editor's note: This 30-day blog focused on Illinois' IT modernization was originally published on LinkedIn, and is republished here with permission.
One of the biggest impediments to lower taxpayer costs and improve citizen services is our antiquated IT systems. Illinois faces unprecedented financial challenges, compounded by the fact that the financial data located in nearly 400 different systems do not communicate with each other. It takes us more than 9 months to generate a Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) that puts us 49th of 50 states.
That will soon be a thing of the past. The previous administration started a process to procure ERP software, program management and system integration. The new technology team came in and in 4 months, we completed contract negotiations and started statewide single Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation.
The ERP program will transform finance, human resource and other administrative systems through the adoption of a single, modern, integrated IT platform. Three constitutional offices – the executive branch under the governor, the Comptroller’s Office and the Treasurer’s Office are participating in this statewide program.
To maximize adoption and minimize risk, the state is following a phased rollout methodology. We are currently implementing finance, procurement, and grants management modules. We will go-live with the first set of agencies this fall and will incorporate any implementation lessons learned in three subsequent phases.
To maximize accountability and ensure quality review, the State employs a two-SI (system integrator) model for the solution design and legacy assessment phases of the project. Over the past 6 months, over 250 unique stakeholders from 19 agencies have attended approximately 70 formal design sessions and created over 200 design deliverables for 73 business processes. The solution design ensured that customization level is kept below 10 percent. With solution design complete, we are now kicking off the implementation phase.
We have able partners in McKinsey (Program Manager), SAP (Software and cloud host) as well as Accenture and Deloitte (System Integrators). A stellar internal program team oversees and guides the work. Program governance starts at the highest level with a Program Oversight Group and an Executive Steering Committee made up of select key leadership from executive branch agencies and two other constitutional offices. This is a long journey, but with proper oversight and methodical implementation, we intend to turn around how the state operates – from multiple siloes into an enterprise organization. Our goal is E Pluribus Unum – Out of Many, One.