The state's chief information offier says new efforts underway will result in cost savings and open opportunities for innovation.
Montana is well underway with an infrastructure consolidation that will save the state nearly $2 million annually right off the bat.
“My main priority right now is going to be finishing what we started last year,” Ron Baldwin, Montana’s chief information officer, told StateScoop in April. “We are converging the infrastructure for our executive branch agencies, so all the agencies will be on the same enterprise level platforms.”
Under this consolidation, state agencies will eventually not own their own equipment and will instead use managed shared services, that will be brokered through Baldwin’s department — the State Information Technology Services Division.
“It’s going to result in a lot of efficiencies, more innovation, more technology and capabilities available to agencies and additional security for the state, as well,” Baldwin says.
In addition to the consolidation, Baldwin and his team are also looking at how to maximize the power of data and data analytics to help government behave more like a business.
“[We’re trying to maximize] the use of data to help government become more of an enterprise and to use and leverage that data and share it across agencies, creating portals for the citizen as well,” Baldwin says.
Those portals will come in the form of opening up data for transparency purposes, Baldwin says, but also internally for state agencies to deliver services more effectively to their constituents.
Both the data analytics efforts and the consolidation initiative require collaboration with other state agencies, Baldwin says. In those conversations, the CIO says he brings SITSD’s strategic plan with him.
“Our enterprise vision really is an anchor for everything that I want IT to be able to accomplish,” Baldwin says. “If we want to really deliver service holistically to the citizen, we need to have government be and look like an enterprise — not just health and human services, not just Department of Labor, not just the Department of Revenue, but all these departments working together that can bring services and data together to give a holistic experience.”