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Thursday, March 18, 2004

Digital Leadership vs. Digital Management
CIOs have been resigning at a rapid pace lately. There have also been recent articles and discussions about enterprise CIOs losing prominence and power within government. I believe we are seeing CIOs not understand nor have governance that allows them to be leaders.

Leadership and management are about getting the same result - for people to change their behaviors. The difference is that management uses authority to accomplish the goal and leadership uses influence. Most enterprise CIOs has very little authority over the rest of government. They must use influence to accomplish change. This is more difficult and it takes longer than when you have authority over a particular activity.

When attempting to drive change throughout the organization, enterprise CIOs must look at where their influence points are, who their partners are and how the authority of their partners may come into play. CIOs need to spend their time influencing others and should leave much of the management of technology to their chief deputy. Understanding the difference between leadership and management will allow CIOs to get more done and hopefully stay on the job a little bit longer.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Reorganizing Government Pays Off
A report from the European Union finds that when government combines the use of technology to deliver services and a substantial reorganization in the way they get work done the government receives higher satisfaction ratings from business and citizens. The report entitled "Reorganisation of Government Back Offices for Better Electronic Public Services - European Good Practices" includes 29 case studies. The redesign of a Danish citizens portal was cited. It showed that the implementation of technology provided about 20% of the savings while the remaining 80% of the savings was due to the redesign of the organizational processes on the back end.

Along with this report ministers in the UK have been taking heat for suggesting that up to 80,000 civil service jobs could be cut due to the efficiencies created through the use of information technology to deliver services. The report was leaked to the Financial Times and will be issued by Sir Peter Gershon, head of the Office of Government Commerce.

This provides some needed evidence for those in the United States that are attempting to remake the business processes we use. We are beginning to see more states (Iowa, California, Michigan, Virginia, Oregon, Texas and Utah) line up to do consolidation of their technology infrastructures. In addition, there is strong talk coming from some governors about "blowing up the boxes" of state government (California) and we are already seeing the boxes move around in Texas with their health and human services consolidation.

The time has come for government to realize that they can become more efficient and will be able to provide a higher level of service to constituents through the application of technology. However, none of this will be realized without major change taking place to the business processes that are currently used to deliver service. Substantial monetary savings will not come until money is spent to review, revise and repurpose the processes used by government today.

Friday, February 13, 2004

Consolidation Everywhere!

It seems as if every state CIO is talking about consolidation as one of the ways to help the budget issues that states have been facing the last few years. Michigan and Virginia have been working hard for a couple of years on their consolidations. Their work has included the IT positions that support the lines of business of government.

Recently, the CIO of Utah, Val Oveson discussed with the Center for Digital Government (where I serve as Vice President of Research) the intent of Utah's legislature to study the structure of IT in the state and to evaluate the feasibility of consolidation.

This week Wisconsin's CIO, Matt Miszewski, spoke with the Center about his state's study of consolidating the procurement of desktop technology and existing server installations. There is activity in California to consolidate the two largest data centers. The state of Texas is involved in consolidating the health and human services infrastructure, moving from 12 agencies to five. The state of Oregon is hiring a consultant to assist with the consolidation of 32 computer centers and 70 different email systems.

I would expect to see additional consolidation of IT operations across the country. Of course, it takes money to save money. Government will have to free up initial cash to pay for the migration to larger servers and a single email system in order to save operational costs over time.

It is incredible that governments have not been able to standardize the most vital transportation links of our times. Unfortunately, we are still in the era of making sure that the gauge of the railroad is the same so that our locomotives can deliver data across our own organizations. There certainly will be continued opportunities for the IT supplier industry to assist governments with the slow transition to a standard technology infrastructure.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Reorganizing Government

On February 10, 2004 Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued an executive order creating the California Performance Review. The review is being led by Billy Hamilton, the deputy comptroller of the state of Texas and Chon Gutierrez, a 30+ year veteran of California state government. Hamilton led a similar performance review in the state of Texas during the 1990's.

The review is being tasked with examining 14 areas of state government. (1) Statewide Information Technology; (2) Performance-Based Budgeting and Revenue Maximization; (3) Personnel Management; (4) Acquisition and Procurement; (5) Customer Service; (6) Health and Human Services; (7) Education, Training and Volunteerism; (8) Public Safety; (9) Infrastructure (including transportation, housing, energy and water); (10) Resources and Environmental Protection; (11) California Business Climate; (12) General Government (including agency reorganization and consolidation); (13) Intergovernmental Relations; and (14) Job Retention and Business Development.

The review could be a blessing for the state if the governor is truly interested in "blowing up the boxes" of the government organization chart. It does not make sense for government to attempt to deliver 21st Century services in an organizational model that was originally designed when the top speed of the world was 3 miles per hour. Bon Chance to Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Gutierrez!
ERP is still hot in government.
The state of Kansas is looking for $30 million to implement a statewide HR/Payroll system, preferably a PeopleSoft system to go along with the existing PeopleSoft system within the department of Administration.

Also in Kansas, Wichita State University is developing a project plan for a $12 million information management system (read ERP system).

The state of California, even with the current fiscal issues, is looking to implement a common payroll system. Could probably save some money getting to a single enterprise system rather than the reported 55 separate payroll systems that exist today.

The Governor of Ohio recently decided to move forward with an RFP for the Ohio Administrative Knowledge System (OAKS). A statewide ERP system valued at $158 million.

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