California puts IT services and acquisition under one roof

California established its new state technology services department last month with a mission: Send a clear signal to agencies and industry that the state is serious about consolidating IT services and functions and leveraging its buying power.

California established its new state technology services department last month with a mission: Send a clear signal to agencies and industry that the state is serious about consolidating IT services and functions and leveraging its buying power.California also announced the first of a series of consolidated purchasing initiatives that might eventually encompass servers, software licenses and maintenance agreements, said Clark Kelso, the state’s CIO.“Industry is going to see a more sophisticated buyer of IT goods and services,” he said.The most visible sign that the state has turned over a new leaf was its creation of a new California Technology Services Department on July 11. The move consolidates the Stephen P. Teale and Health and Human Services data centers with the General Services Department’s Network Services Office. They will be under the jurisdiction of the California State and Consumer Services Agency.Bob Austin, chief deputy director and acting director of the Technology Services Department (DTS), said the new department will work closely with Kelso to develop the best strategy for delivering cost-effective IT support to agencies.“We want this new department to be the foundation for supporting the infrastructure of California,” he said.Consolidating the two large general-purpose data centers with the organization responsible for state agency telecommunications will improve efficiency and eliminate duplication of services, Austin said.After the data center consolidation is completed, state officials will explore ways to consolidate other IT infrastructure that state agencies share, Kelso said.The new department will help California strengthen the viability of future projects and approach large-scale, statewide efforts in a much more efficient way than it has in the past, said Mike Keating, vice president for the U.S. West and state and local group at CGI-AMS of Fairfax, Va.“Before, there was [some] doubt about whether these changes were coming and how they would affect potential future procurements. But now that the state has created DTS, I believe it can streamline the way procurements happen,” Keating said.The department was created by a reorganization plan crafted by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and approved by the Legislature. The new technology department differs substantially from its predecessor, the California Information Technology Department, which the Legislature abolished in 2002 following disclosure of questionable contracting practices by the department.“We are going to try to instill in this new department a culture as a service provider,” Kelso said. “DTS is not a control agency, but a service provider.”The creation of DTS does not alter state purchasing policy for IT goods and services, Austin said. Still, the department plans to work with state agencies and the General Services Department to improve software purchasing.“We are exploring [software purchasing] right now with specific companies, so that we buy as a state instead of each department purchasing separately,” he said.The state CIO, a new Technology Services Board and the California Finance Department will share responsibility for the so-called control functions: the establishment of IT policy and strategy, Kelso said. The board comprises the CIO, the director of the Finance Department, the state controller and the secretaries of the major agencies.The Technology Services Board will approve the new department’s annual budget and the rates it charges agencies for services. The board also will advise the department on its annual operating plan, Austin said.Both the Finance and General Services departments have been involved in IT governance and they will play an important role in the new model, CGI-AMS’ Keating said. The new model should bring them into the process in a more collaborative fashion than before, he said.“California is in the process of transition, and it is going to have to work through an effective governance model,” Keating said. “But I would rather see them start now than not start. I don’t think having all of those hands in the pot is necessarily a problem, because they were there before. It is just a matter of getting [the participants] all focused on the same thing now.”






A new leaf





























Many hands



William Welsh is deputy editor of GCN’s sister publication Washington Technology.
X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.