North Carolina transitions to build self-service opportunities for state agencies

It’s been nearly two years since the consolidation and centralization of North Carolina’s information technology operation began, and now the new agency is preparing to make its offerings more accessible to other state offices.

“Last summer, when we talked , [our priorities] included the next-generation data center and how we wanted to extend cloud,” Tracy Doaks, the state’s chief deputy chief information officer told StateScoop in April. “We’re almost finished doing that, and now it’s transformed into self-provisioning, self-service.”

That focus will allow customers to be able to provision their own IT services from the Department of Information Technology (DIT), Doaks said, which will cut down on time and enable agencies to move rapidly as their business needs require.

In addition, over the last year, the state IT agency reduced rates for its services “significantly,” Doaks says, saving agencies between $6 million and $8 million dollars.

“Now we want to take that one step further, by starting to compare with our competitors’ rates, whether that competitor be another state or the private sector,” Doaks says.

That move to competition does two things, Doaks says.

“It allows our customer to see that we really are trying to reduce costs and make things better for them,” she says. “It also keeps us honest in terms of a reference point for how our customers measure against, our cost measure against other customers.”

Doaks spoke with StateScoop in April at the midyear meeting of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers in Crystal City, Virginia. At the time, the state had only just recently announced the hire of Eric Boyette as the state’s CIO.

Since then, Boyette has outlined his priorities to focus on procurement, cybersecurity and innovation. The new state CIO told StateScoop in May that while the consolidation and centralization efforts underway in the state will continue, they’re happening without a definitive timeline.

“We are still reviewing that process and what we need to do to go forward and make it a successful IT agency and also successful agency statewide and not break the business,” Boyette said. “It’s just at our pace and we’re making sure we do it well.”