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Coordination Is King: Wisconsin Navigates Off the Mainframe

Wisconsin CIO David Cagigal is committed to the mainframe, at least for the next couple years. His challenge is making sure agencies are on the same page about the timing of their exit strategies.

Wisconsin Chief Information Officer David Cagigal
David Kidd/Government Technology
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The state of Wisconsin processes 15 billion transactions annually on mainframe technology. But as CIO David Cagigal said at this week's NASCIO annual conference, he's thinking about transitioning to what's next.

But that won't happen before his current commitment to mainframe expires. As he explains, he needs to remain closely aligned with the agencies currently using the mainframe in order to keep it economically viable for all participants until it reaches end-of-life. 

“All we need to do is make sure that we’re cognizant of the future direction and strategies of each one of the agencies using that particular element of the infrastructure as the cloud presents its alternatives,” he said. 

And the cloud does figure prominently into Cagigal's plans going forward — he called the cloud "a viable path to the future." But in a sentiment echoed by many state technology leaders at NASCIO this week, his strategy is not cloud-first, but rather "cloud-appropriate."

The state currently uses Microsoft Office 365 in the cloud, but Cagigal cautions peers considering cloud solutions to pay careful attention to contract terms as well as escalating costs that can render cloud solutions unworkable for government.

Government Technology editor Noelle Knell has more than 15 years of writing and editing experience, covering public projects, transportation, business and technology. A California native, she has worked in both state and local government, and is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, with majors in political science and American history. She can be reached via email and on Twitter. Follow @GovTechNoelle
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