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By GCN Staff

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Ohio moves on statewide IT consolidation

The state of Ohio is spending $62 million to consolidate legacy information technology systems across its state government agencies, according to a report in the Columbus Dispatch.

The project, which would centralize about 9,000 servers and 30 smaller data centers across 26 state agencies, is estimated to save $150 million, according to the report.

In December 2013, the state released its Consolidated IT Transformation Approach, which describes the strategy and implementation plans, which fall into three focus areas:

Private cloud expansion, which involves the consolidation, standardization and integration of the state’s highly distributed technical infrastructure into a centrally managed environment.

Enterprise shared solutions, which will provide a platform for common service application development.

Online government services that will deliver citizen-facing tools citizens to improve government-citizen interaction.

The state’s controlling board recently made a down payment on the project, approving a $62 million expenditure to get the project rolling.

The collaborative effort is expected to take five to seven years, a calculation taking into account the length of time state agencies have spent building-up their individual IT stovepipes.

The decision to begin funding the project raised questions by state legislators who asked whether taxpayers might be paying twice for the new systems.

“I don’t see the agencies standing behind you saying, ‘Take $62 million out of my budget,’ ” said one legislator,  who asked for reports on how the project would  produce savings.

However, Jennifer Leymaster, the Administrative Services’ agency chief financial officer, told legislators that funds for the money was in agency budgets, according to the report.

“This is a better way to run the state’s information technology business,” the Dispatch quoted Leymaster as saying. “We're not doing it 26 ways, but having one agency provide services.”

The consolidation will lead to the creation of 132 information technology positions, to be filled with workers from other agencies. However, the state expects eventually to cut the number of employees in technology jobs by 400 through attrition, the Dispatch reported.

Posted by GCN Staff on Aug 08, 2014 at 9:43 AM


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