Oklahoma saves $40M on IT consolidation

Like many states caught in a financial vice, Oklahoma is looking for ways to cut unnecessary costs. The state’s chief information officer did not have to look especially far: Duplicative IT systems and staff have been burning a hole in the state’s budget.

In the last two years, the state has saved nearly $40 million from consolidating technology projects and systems in 120 different agencies, the Daily Oklahoman reported.

In one example, CIO Alex Petit cited the state’s $4.3 million annual expenditure to access the Internet via commercial services even though the state already owns 940 miles of its own fiber. "We're paying everyone else for their own networks,” Petit told the Oklahoman. “That’s just flat nuts.”

By eliminating technology offices from individual state agencies and establishing a single statewide office, the state was also able to cut 128 IT positions. The state is now looking at other areas to target, including its network of decentralized agency financial systems.

Petit said technology consolidation is self-funded, with the money coming from reduction in staff and other savings. At the current rate of savings, it will take another seven years to finish the IT consolidation project, Petit told the Oklahoman.

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