The State of Minnesota has been named a recipient of the National Association of State CIO’s (NASCIO) 2013 Recognition Award for Enterprise IT Management Initiatives.
The honor, awarded October 15th at the NASCIO Conference in Philadelphia, recognized Minnesota for the service level agreements (SLA) process it developed for management of state government IT. Minnesota’s SLA process is a comprehensive, sustainable, business-focused approach that helps customers understand exactly what to expect and how to work with their state IT partners.
The NASCIO award recognizes Minnesota as a leader, not only in the government sector, but in private industry as well.
“When the legislature handed us the challenge of developing SLAs for our customers, we immediately turned to the IT industry to find best practices and templates we could model our process on,” said Carolyn Parnell, Minnesota’s State CIO and Commissioner of MN.IT Services, the state agency that delivers information technology to state government. “But after surveying the landscape, we couldn’t find any SLAs that defined IT services in a way business could easily understand. And the models we looked at weren’t comprehensive – they were more similar to Operational Level Agreements than SLAs.”
SLAs are the instrument by which MN.IT Services and agency customers agree on the service definitions, costs and metrics for all IT provided to clients. Within 10 months of Minnesota’s historic IT consolidation, MN.IT Services delivered 68 comprehensive SLAs to its clients. All SLAs are based on a common template, but reflect the unique as-is IT landscape of each customer’s business environment.
The first MN.IT SLAs required a lot of behind- the-scenes efforts to prepare the final product, including the identification and centralization of IT staff embedded within agency business, the development of a Service Reference Model with common service and function definitions, and the analysis of IT budgets for all agencies in the executive branch. Moving forward, the SLAs are reviewed quarterly with agency customers, and serve as the foundation for the dialog between IT and business.
“Receiving recognition from my peers makes me very proud,” said Commissioner Parnell, “because it shows that we have achieved something truly unique and important in the ever-changing, complex world of IT management.”
With SLAs in place, MN.IT has now begun a multi-year effort to redesign and improve the services that are outlined in the agreements, including the creation of the MN.IT Cloud for the delivery of infrastructure services. Officials expect the long-range plan to result in IT that operates with flexibility, innovation and efficiency and is more responsive and accountable to agency customers. Already, early indications show significant achievements resulting from Minnesota’s IT consolidation. You can read more about these successes on the MN.IT website.
The State of Minnesota has been named a recipient of National Association of State CIO’s (NASCIO) 2012 Recognition Award for Enterprise IT Management Initiatives.
The honor, awarded yesterday at the NASCIO 2012 Conference in San Diego, recognized Minnesota for the executive branch’s seamless migration to a single Enterprise Unified Communication and Collaboration (EUCC) cloud-based platform. The project unified all communication technology across state government to increase productivity, providing state workers new communications tools and the ability to collaborate easily and effectively across agency lines. The move to the cloud delivered enhanced constituent services without adding infrastructure or capital investments.
“This was a significant project that eliminated redundant systems, improved security and, in the simplest of business terms, made it possible for the Governor to finally send one email to all State of Minnesota employees,” said Carolyn Parnell, Minnesota’s State CIO and Commissioner of MN.IT Services, the state agency that delivers information technology to state government.
The consolidated cloud-based system has the capacity to serve Minnesota government beyond the executive branch. “We knew we were a success when St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman made joining the state’s email system a key goal in his 2012 state of the city address,” Commissioner Parnell explained.
Today, Minnesota has what is largely considered the most advanced communication and collaboration ecosystem in the public sector. The project brought all 70 state agencies into a single communications platform, including email, voice, video conferencing, instant messaging, desktop sharing, web collaboration, storage, and mobile phone options, in addition to other services. All this was accomplished while also keeping the system flexible enough to meet ongoing business needs, yet ensuring security levels befitting the work of law enforcement.
“Moving in a new direction takes courage, commitment and a willingness to challenge assumptions,” said Parnell. “Winning this award tells our Minnesota IT team that we are going in the right direction. It validates our path toward additional innovative projects as we optimize our recent statewide consolidation and lead Minnesota government toward solutions that benefit Minnesota citizens. We appreciate being recognized by our peers in other states, and we look forward to sharing our experiences on the road to new IT challenges.”
Work on the custom-designed project was done in partnership with Microsoft. The EUCC system is cloud-based and modeled on tools from Office 365.
Carolyn Parnell, Minnesota's State CIO and Commissioner of MN.IT Services – the state agency that delivers information technology to state government – has been named one of several recipients of the 2012 Tekne Award for leadership in Public Service. The award was presented to seven of Minnesota's public officials by the Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) in recognition of the honorees' efforts to consolidate IT services from more than 70 state agencies into a single organization, MN.IT Services (formerly the Office of Enterprise Technology).
"I'm honored to be named a recipient of this award," said Parnell. "This recognition validates that we're heading in the right direction – to provide innovative IT solutions that help build a better government for a better Minnesota."
Since the consolidation legislation passed in July 2011, MN.IT Services brought together roughly 2,100 IT employees from separate agencies into the new organization, and completed comprehensive service level agreements with each state agency, outlining the costs and level of service for all IT services, projects and applications – a level of IT management that is rare in both the private and public sectors.
Given annually, the Tekne Awards honor companies, innovations and individuals with technological breakthroughs that positively impact the lives and futures of people living in Minnesota and all over the world.
April 23, 2012 -- The Office of Enterprise Technology has announced a new brand for the organization: MN.IT Services.
MN.IT Services applies to all executive branch information technology and everything that is done at both the MN.IT central and agency-based offices, and to the services that continue to be provided to other Minnesota government entities.
The information technology staff at 70 State of Minnesota agencies, boards and commissions were consolidated into a single IT organization through interagency agreements signed in October 2011.
The change occurs that the time that the new organization has developed and published operational strategies for the consolidated organization that will now function as a single entity that makes enterprise-wide decisions and manages resources collectively.
A new name acknowledges the change that is happening everywhere, and begins to build the brand and mindset among staff and customers that all of the State’s IT services are MN.IT Services. The new name provides additional clarity on roles and relationships among MN.IT offices and staff, and helps to describe the organization in a clear and consistent way.
Through a strategic planning process, the new organization has developed a new mission statement: “We provide government with high quality, secure and cost -effective information technology that meets the needs of government, fosters innovation, and improves outcomes for the people of Minnesota.”
MN.IT Services has also released a new state Master Plan that describes the technology goals and priorities for executive branch over the next five years.
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