Optimization, modernization drive Minnesota’s IT future

As the steward of thousands of employees and a network responsible for allgovernment operations within Minnesota state and several cities and counties, Chief Information Officer Tom Baden said efficiency is the key to making it all work.

Baden told StateScoop in a video interview at the annual meeting of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers last month that Minnesota is planning a strong focus on legacy modernization and optimization of the states IT infrastructure in the year ahead.

Moving forward, [well be] making sure that our data centers are optimized and our infrastructure is optimized and secure, and then modernizing applications that frankly needed to be modernized quite a long time ago, Baden said.

So far, Baden reported that the state has consolidated 49 data centers down to 28. With the shift to a more concise infrastructure, Baden said the state will see cost savings and better government services.

I see government pivoting from being a silo of government programs or agencies to delivering government as a whole, Baden said. If people want to come, they dont care if its the city, its the state, its the county, its the feds they want to come in. They need help and we want to be able to bring it to them.

Toachieve that, Baden said hes trying to encourage a dedication to innovation from the ground up making it every employees responsibility to drive innovation in their specific roles.

I dont see innovation as a program, Baden said. I see it as a responsibility for every single person that we have. Weve got a couple thousand people, and I think our job as leaders is to enable every single person that we have to innovate constantly. Our job should be providing solutions for our agencies that matter to people, and therefore its everybodys job.