Editor’s Note — October 2016: An earlier version of this story claimed the Quinn administration executed these enterprise resource planning contracts. The administration only named finalists.
Illinois could be getting a new enterprise resource planning system, but questions remain about whether it will survive the state’s gubernatorial transition.
Just weeks after losing his bid for re-election, outgoing Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn named Deloitte Consulting and Accenture finalists for contracts on Dec. 12 for an ERP that will take approximately five years to complete.
Of course, Quinn will not be around to see much of that process take place: Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner is slated to be inaugurated Jan. 12.
The contracts with Deloitte and Accenture together don’t total more than $8.5 million.
While modern ERP systems are generally seen as a way for large organizations to streamline the daily data flow of their business and financial operations, and produce significant, they can take years to properly plan and execute.The state has been planning to go with the ERP system since last February, according to David Ormsby, a former state Democratic Party press secretary, who outlined the project at the time for the Huffington Post.
The plan for an ERP, Ormsby said, came from Sean Vinck, the state’s chief information officer, who believed Illinois could become the first large state to put its financial information in the cloud with this project.
“A new enterprise system can timely and accurately report data across state agencies,” Vinck said in February. “And it can generate confidence with the bond-ratings agencies” because of the timeliness and reliability of the financial data.
While it’s certain that Quinn will not be around to see the project through, the question now is whether Vinck will be. A longtime Quinn supporter, Vinck served as Quinn’s legislative council when Quinn was the state’s lieutenant governor and was Quinn’s chief of intergovernmental affairs before becoming CIO four years ago.
Despite the uncertainty around the future of the project, the belief is that it will ultimately benefit the state’s government.
“Whoever is sworn in 2015 will be grateful for the effort to haul the state into the 21st century, and the extra cash that it’s slated to save,” Ormsby wrote in February. “But it is a risk — a big risk that Quinn or his successor will need to manage.”