As Pennsylvania consolidates, CTO looks to cloud for agility, transparency

The state has consolidated 16 agencies’ IT operations off of legacy systems so far, and now the state’s CTO says the state is looking toward the cloud for future agile apps and services.

Cloud computing could give Pennsylvania the speed it needs to get the job done quickly and efficiently, the state’s chief technology officer said.

Jim Weaver, the state CTO, has been focused on data center consolidation and the establishment of the state’s managed compute effort for the last year. In an interview at the annual conference of the National Association of State Technology Directors, he said Pennsylvania was nearing the end of its effort.

“My focus has been on service optimization, specifically around data center consolidation and the establishment of our managed compute program,” Weaver rsaid. “We’ve been very successful in consolidating 16 agencies thus far with four remaining that will occur as their current environments approach the need for refresh.”

That consolidation will remain a main priority for Weaver until it is finished, but now, the state’s CTO is looking toward the future — and it’s in the cloud.

“Our managed compute needs to embrace cloud principles, and providing agility and transparency to our agencies in a highly available and virtualized manner,” Weaver said.

In addition to the look toward cloud, Weaver also said he is working on telecommunications — specifically, trying to bring higher speeds of connectivity through the state.

“[We need to] drive higher speeds of connectivity throughout the state leveraging existing assets, supporting the movement of large, virtualized workloads and providing our citizens with a better means of engagement,” Weaver said.

Both the consolidation efforts and the connectivity initiatives require the state to take a look at its application portfolio, Weaver said. The state faces the challenge of a traditional “mainframe-centric” portfolio.

“We need to look at architectures that enable cloud opportunities and true application high availability so that we are postured in providing uninterrupted services to our citizens,” Weaver said.

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