Hawaii Rethinks SURF Strategy, Shifts to Targeted ERP Approach

The governor has cancelled the single ERP procurement process, and the state will instead set out to modernize and improve individual ERP functional areas through more targeted projects.

by / March 26, 2015
Hawaii Gov. David Ige said the state will use a business-like approach to prioritize projects that can be ready to deliver efficiencies and cost-saving benefits within the next two years. Photo courtesy of Gov. David Ige

Citing state budget constraints as a primary driver, Hawaii Gov. David Ige announced on March 25 that rather than proceeding toward a single, statewide enterprise resource planning (ERP) system at this time, the state will instead focus on targeted projects and a more results-driven ERP strategy.

Originally envisioned as a single, all-in-one solution, the procurement for Hawaii’s ERP initiative, also known as the Statewide Unified Resource Framework (SURF) program, has been cancelled, and the state will instead set out to modernize and improve individual ERP functional areas.

“The SURF program has already made significant progress through several interim and associated projects, which were intended to lay the foundation for the future ERP system,” said state CIO Keone Kali. “Going forward with the governor’s results-driven strategy, the state over the next two years will undertake targeted projects, which will focus on enhancing specific ERP-related functionality within the available budget. Many of the current SURF interim and associated projects currently under way will likely continue as these targeted projects.”

The new approach builds on progress thus far and allows the state to achieve benefits in the short term while staying within budget, with the intent of integrating sub-components as they are established.

State Comptroller Douglas G. Murdock and Kali will lead the refocused effort.

“The state remains committed to the goals and continuation of the SURF program, and we are focusing on priority projects that can stabilize and improve the efficiency of government operations and services now,” Ige said in a press release. “We will use a business-like approach to prioritize projects that can be ready to deliver efficiencies and cost-saving benefits within the next two years under current funding.”

Under the new approach, Hawaii hopes to replicate the recent success achieved with its human resources management system (HRMS). Earlier this year, the state successfully launched HRMS to replace a major, at-risk information technology system no longer supported by vendors.

The HRMS Upgrade Project was completed as scheduled on Jan. 20, 2015, resulting in a modernized system with vital backup and disaster recovery capability in the Hawaii Government Private Cloud, a virtual computing environment that represents a key component of the modernization of Hawaii’s technology infrastructure. HRMS is now used by more than 200 human resource professionals in the Department of Human Resource Development and other state agencies to support recruitment, management and retention of more than 16,000 employees. The system is expected to drive down the state’s operating costs while providing faster service to customers.

The governor has tasked the SURF Executive Steering Committee, led by Murdock as its executive sponsor, to determine which priority projects will be undertaken by using available ERP funding and potentially leveraging existing systems. 

Other ERP projects that have already made significant progress include:

  • Asset Management: Better financial reporting capabilities help managers maximize the use of state assets. It currently is used by the Department of Accounting and General Services' Public Works Division, and the state is working to migrate other departments. System go-live: November 2014.
  • Grants: An improved view into revenues and expenditures to better predict spending and support compliance is used statewide for new federal awards. System go-live: August 2014.
  • Budget Variance Reporting: Near real-time information on budgeted versus actual expenditures helps managers make better decisions about spending. The reporting is used in the Department of Budget and Finance, with a statewide rollout to be planned. System go-live:  February 2015.
  • Uniform Chart of Accounts: This projects allows consistent statewide financial classification and reporting, resulting in better accounting quality, more efficient reporting and faster data analysis.
  • Business Process Alignment: All state departments are collaborating to document current ERP-related business processes that helped to identify and implement some early process improvements, and pave the way for statewide initiatives that require standard processes.
  • Infrastructure Improvements: ERP funds supported significant infrastructure improvements that will be used for SURF and other initiatives statewide. These improvements are in the areas of Hawaii’s private government, network hardening and expansion, cybersecurity and data center transition. They reduce the state’s risk, increase capacity, provide a more cost-effective technology environment and contribute to the state’s technology modernization.
Justine Brown Contributing Writer