The National Association of State Chief Information Officers on Tuesday published a report aimed at helping states manage their IT portfolios more effectively.
More specifically, the report targets work happening in many states called enterprise-wide portfolio management, or EPM, which the group defines as processes that are used to evaluate, prioritize and allocate limited resources to “best accomplish organizational strategies.” The report draws on interviews, research and a 2022 series of webinars that featured case studies in Illinois, Maryland and Virginia, and features “six essential plays” states should make when they’re in the early stages of developing an EPM plan.
According to a survey of the group’s members, 39% of states employ widespread use of EPM tools and processes, 47% employ limited use and 14% don’t use EPM but are planning to. No state official said they were not using EPM and didn’t plan to.
Former Maine Chief Information Officer Fred Brittain is quoted in the report for his support of EPM in state government.
“Enterprise Portfolio Management, when properly exercised, becomes the key differentiator between status quo and moving the organization forward,” Brittain says in the report. “It ensures that the larger strategies of CIO related to finance, architecture, and service delivery don’t take a backseat to day-to-day work.
The report’s key recommendations range from the early stage of building a “compelling business case” to establishing an EPM framework that includes IT investment management, a closely related discipline.
“State government can’t manage anything if it doesn’t know what it has,” the report reads. “And that is the case with investments in software and hardware, cloud services, the state workforce, state contracts, obligations, applications and databases, networks, and projects. [EPM] is much more expansive than just the project portfolio. The aforementioned list conveys the notion that there are many portfolios that must be actively managed within the state government enterprise portfolio.”