Connecticut collaborates, co-opts tools to keep pace with budget cuts

Budget cuts are putting some state IT offices in tough spots, but there are lots of resources out there for IT directors to tap into.

To keep up with leaner times, Connecticut’s information technology agencyis iterating faster, said Bernie O’Donnell, director of communications services of the state’s Bureau of Enterprise Systems and Technology.

“I’d say from when I first started with the state, it’s changed a lot in terms of the cycle time,” O’Donnell said during a video interview with StateScoop at theNational Association of State Technology Directors (NASTD) 2016 Annual Conference in August. “The cycle time when I first started with the state was typically very long for a lot of initiatives. There was a lot longer planning cycles, longer procurement cycles, and sometimes the implementation phases, as well. Now sometimes out of necessity and the improved tools and resources we have available to us, much of which comes from collaborating with other states, we’re able to shorten up on those cycles.”

As with many states, Connecticut is finding innovation comes from necessity budget cuts are forcing the state to collaborate more and reuse resources that others have created. And though this path was forced upon them, collaboration turns out to be much easier than going it alone, O’Donnell said.

“We’ve had to find ways of doing things differently that in some cases really have caused some difficulties for some organizations where jobs that they did and perhaps did well in many cases had to be dropped in favor of higher priority things that were going on just because they couldn’t continue to be all things to all people,” he said. “They couldnt do everything for everyone anymore.”

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