Mississippi is planning an enterprise cloud email initiative.
In an interview with StateScoop, state Chief Information Officer Dr. Craig Orgeron said Mississippi is in the early stages of planning for the selection and implementation of a single cloud-based email solution that takes advantages of recent developments in cloud technologies.
“We wanted to be as forward-thinking as possible,” said Orgeron, who mentioned that almost all of the state’s 30 largest agencies run their own email systems. “This initiative is about planning for the future, as cloud services drive increased commoditization of IT services, such as email. We didn’t want to find ourselves in two or three years with a myriad of disparate cloud solutions.”
As it stands now, Orgeron said Mississippi is looking for a vendor to host the solution, although the state is also considering a hybrid solution as well.
“We’re open to whatever model makes sense,” Orgeron said. “The beautiful thing about the cloud is you can move between where it’s hosted, so there’s a lot of flexibility.”
If the state goes with a hybrid solution it could end up in Mississippi’s two-year-old data center in Jackson, which has become the focal point of the state’s information technology strategy.
Orgeron said the facility, which features approximately 13,000 square feet of raised space – almost triple that of the state’s old data center – is becoming the home for a number of large state-run IT legacy systems that are being modernized.
For example, Orgeron said Mississippi is going bring in a large SAP implementation in the coming months that will consolidate three legacy systems (human resources, accounting and an executive decision support program), along with projects for a new system for the Department of Revenue, a new driver’s license system and new syatems for the Health Department.
“Our legislature and elected leaders had the foresight to fund a new, state-of-the-art data center, so we are doing our best to maximize our use of it,” Orgeron said. “A large part of our strategy is fully leveraging that facility and working with our agencies to optimize their technology infrastructure inside of it.”
Of course, with change comes concern. Orgeron admits there’s been understandable concern from state agencies utilizing the data center – this requires a mindset change that often involves the day-to-day control of agency systems, but in the end, he said it will be advantageous to the state.