DIG IT AWARD FINALIST: CLOUD AND INFRASTRUCTURE
How one state's modernization delivers service transformation
- By Stephanie Kanowitz
- Sep 26, 2016
The Louisiana Department of Health wanted to modernize its siloed, outdated Medicaid eligibility and enrollment systems -- a problem many state agencies grapple with. The IT consolidation and enterprise architecture solution Louisiana officials came up with is less common, however.
It delivered a scalable, shared hardware that can be supported in the cloud and a set of services against which applications can be developed and replicated beyond the department.
It's a "complete 180" in terms of the state's approach, Louisiana CTO Michael Allison said. "Instead of being technology-driven, it's now service-oriented. We're looking at the service delivery and how we can support the service of eligibility rather than what the technology is."
Major components include an on-premises software-defined data center that hosts all the project's shared services; Nutanix's hyperconverged technology; and network services that are incorporated into the virtual fabric with VMware's NSX network virtualization platform, ESXi hypervisor and Site Recovery Manager.
Matthew Vince, director of project management at the state's Office of Technology Services, said the solution allows one group of data center engineers to manage all the components that multiple groups used to oversee.
As a result, the department has consolidated networking, computing and storage; increased availability; improved disaster recovery; and set the example for modernization at other agencies as part of a statewide IT consolidation effort.
The solution also saves tens of millions of dollars a year.
"This really allows us to quit selling technology to the customers and start selling solutions," Louisiana Deputy CIO Neal Underwood said. "They see what they get out of it rather than the technology itself."
Stephanie Kanowitz is a freelance writer based in northern Virginia.