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IT Optimization Frequently Asked Questions

Program Purpose & Organization

What is the overall purpose of this program?     

The purpose of this program is to reduce complexity, increase efficiency and realize savings for the State of Ohio within its IT infrastructure and improve service within its IT service delivery.  The State maintains redundant hardware, software andinfrastructure across the enterprise which causes the State to spend more money on IT than necessary.  For example, there are more than 30 data centers, 14 statewide networks and multiple email systems operating on different platforms.  These duplicated operations and systems consume valuable financial and human resources that could provide more benefit to the State and its citizens if they were allocated to support the missions of the agencies.

What is the difference between IT Optimization and IT Transformation?

IT Optimization is the State’s overall strategic vision for Information Technology.  

IT Transformation refers to the tactical projects and work that will modernize the State’s approach to IT for the most efficient delivery of services. 

The term Transformation was very important when the Transformation Office of over 100 IT staff was formed to conduct the analysis and planning for the transformational projects that the State would need to undertake to achieve its strategic goals for Optimization.  Regardless of the terms we use, the most important thing to remember is the reason the State wants to optimize in the first place – we want to lower the cost of IT and invest those savings into new capabilities and the businesses of the agencies.

 

Executive Support

Does the Governor support the IT Optimization initiative?

Yes, IT Optimization is fully supported by the Governor as he has a goal to move the State’s IT into the 21st century, and the time to move is now. The money and resources saved through the elimination of unnecessary IT redundancies can then be redirected into newer types of IT services and the agency businesses where citizens will see and receive benefit.

If there would be a change in administration, would this initiative be likely to continue?
 
Yes, regardless of the political environment, IT Optimization is the right thing to do for the State of Ohio.  A change in administration shouldn’t change the path we’re on because of the benefits that will come from having more money to direct to agency services. Other states have successfully moved forward with their optimization projects even during changes in administration.

Project Costs & Savings

How much will IT Optimization cost? 

The IT Development Fund was established in FY13 with $13.2M to begin efforts on email consolidation, storage virtualization, mainframe consolidation, server virtualization and network consolidation.   IT Optimization is a multi-year initiative with multiple waves of projects that will require funding, the full cost of which cannot be calculated at this time. One of the goals for Optimization is to save money for the State, and at the same time, we need to invest into the projects that make those savings possible.  
 
Will consolidated services be more expensive to the individual agencies than what we’ve experienced on our own?
 
The expectation is the total cost for consolidated services will be less expensive to the State than what the total cost of individual agencies continuing to provide their own services would be. Not all agencies will experience the same level of cost savings, as that will vary depending upon how each one was delivering their services before consolidation. While some agency costs will increase, most will not, and the State will see significant cost savings at the enterprise level.  Total costs will lower as we retire redundant hardware and software and discontinue investing more dollars into redundant purchases.  This is how the State will create efficiencies that result from consolidation and standardization. 

Project Duration

What is the projected timeline for IT Optimization?

The projected timeframe is 5-7 years. IT Optimization is a multi-year initiative requiring significant up-front planning.   The first planning phase was completed on June 30, 2013 with the submission of nine functional sub-committee plans.   The analysis of those plans was completed in September, and the prioritization and sequencing of projects will be completed in November in order  to begin implementation in Q2 of FY14.  
General Contact

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