Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Emphasizing IT Efficiency

In August, Arizona released their “Statewide IT Plan for FY 2011” emphasizing IT efficiency, cost savings, and ways to maximize the state’s IT resources. According to the plan, the state Project Investment Justification (PIJ) process and monitoring has been completely revamped.

The PIJ process will be used to approve all IT projects budgeted over $25,000. The new monitoring process is modeled after the Project Management Institute’s lifecycle management plan, and includes project phases, check points, metrics, and risk mitigation strategies.

A new standardized project management software tool has been instituted across all agencies that grades and tracks the progress on projects so that senior management can more fully understand how the projects are progressing.

A Memorandum of Understanding has been drafted which allows the staff to monitor the cyber health of the state’s network infrastructure. If there is a problem, the staff can automatically shutdown impacted services if an agency is infected. This is being done where there are specific critical incidents in order to prevent data breaches from spreading to other agencies. This disconnect policy has resulted in creating uniform risk and escalation ratings.

The Statewide Information Security and Privacy Office that is part of the Government Information Technology Agency (GITA), has also created and implemented a new standard risk reporting structure to streamline the security reporting process. A recent partnership with the Arizona Department of Administration now maintains a central statewide incident management system.

The Public Safety Interoperable Communications program is in place to coordinate disaster preparedness among the public safety agencies in Arizona. A recent grant allowed the state to create a Communication Assets Survey and Mapping tool and provide for a new outreach program. These activities have resulted in more cooperation to help the state plan interoperability among agencies.

In addition, the web site CopperList was launched to help agency CIOs make more effective use of their technology funding. The agencies are very interested in establishing a simple process to allow the efficient transfer of excess IT hardware between state agencies.

While some agencies have hardware assets sitting idle, other agencies have hardware needs but lack the resources to make new purchases. To meet this need, GITA has launched the web application “CopperList” designed make more efficient use of IT between agencies.

The “CopperList list is similar in concept to other online classified ad sites such as Craigslist. The site is available to state employees that have been authorized by their agency CIO to use the site. Now when agencies are purchasing IT products, they can check the CopperList site prior to the purchase and if they have excess equipment available, this equipment can be made available to other agencies.

To download the Strategic IT Plan, go to www.azgita.gov/planning.