The State has used various approaches to information technology (IT) over the years. At some stages, the Department of Administration adopted an autocratic approach which sought to implement and enforce enterprise-wide approaches and standards, but often resulted in resentment and resistance from other state agencies. At other stages, agencies were left to fend for themselves and adopted systems and hardware that might have made sense for that specific agency at the time, but did not serve the overall interests of the state as an enterprise.
For the STAR Project, we have adopted a collaborative model to involve a number of agencies that rely on the technology – and those charged with providing the technology. The Information Technology Executive Steering Committee (ITESC) was created to set a consistent enterprise-wide IT strategy to ensure the business needs of the agencies drive technology decisions.
The ITESC reviews major IT issues and decisions based upon what will make the State most effective and provide the greatest value to taxpayers. The impact of any decision on specific agencies is carefully considered, but the ITESC’s charge is to take the broader view for the good of all state government.
Ten agencies have representatives (primarily department Deputy Secretaries) on the ITESC, as well as the State’s Chief Information Officer. The agencies serving on ITESC are:
Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
Children and Families
Employee Trust Funds (advisory capacity)
The ITESC will serve as the main governing body for the ERP project. While there was a steering committee with the IBIS project, the committee was not as fully engaged in the strategic decision-making that is critical to a successful deployment. The ITSEC is fully engaged, meets weekly, and members provide the “voice” of their agency, as well as those who do not have membership on the committee.