Allocating Public-Sector IT Investments
Recognizing the increasingly critical role that Information Technology (IT) plays in the delivery of services, the State Legislature appropriated $72.5 million in 2018 targeted for IT investment through its Information Technology Investment Fund (ITIF). The appropriations bill directs that the funds be used for modernizing state information technology systems, improving the state’s cybersecurity framework, and achieving efficiencies.
The State Department of Technology, Management, and Budget (DTMB) manages IT for 19 state agencies. The DTMB assigns agencies to one of five General Managers (GMs) who works with the agency to fulfill their IT needs. These GMs are members of the ITIF Executive Governance Board, along with the Department Director, Chief Deputy Director, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Director of the Center for Shared Solutions, and Director of Customer Service. The Governance Board is responsible for recommending projects to be funded under the ITIF.
The DTMB faced significant challenges allocating funds from the ITIF.
First, the DTMB lacked a transparent, structured process to prioritize and select IT projects considered for investment. The DTMB GMs would meet to discuss and evaluate individual projects, but lacked an overarching framework to justify their decisions. This situation caused dissatisfaction within the agencies they supported, which questioned how the DTMB spent their money. With a steadily growing appropriation for investment in IT projects and no transparent way to justify their decisions to the agencies, the DTMB expected much more backlash when they rejected funding requests.
Second, the DTMB was called out by an external auditor for not adequately aligning IT investment with the State’s strategic priorities. This deficiency created urgency to improve. The Governor required the ITIF to support IT modernization, and not general IT. However, the DTMB was unsure if they were spending the money according to the ITIF mission. The DTMB never took a step back to ensure they understood the real strategic priorities and could evaluate projects through that lens.
With an urgent need to improve transparency and alignment, and acknowledgment that solving this problem required specialized expertise, the DTMB turned to Allovance for help.
The Allovance team utilized the proven Allovance Methodology and software to help the DTMB create a transparent, aligned decision-making process for allocating IT investments.
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