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Minnesota Prepares for Next Stage of Consolidation

April 25, 2012
The IT consolidation law passed in 2011 requires MN.IT Services to enter into service level agreements (SLAs) with each state agency by July 1, 2012. These comprehensive agreements will define the provisioning of IT systems, services, assets and personnel to each executive branch entity. In working to reach this milestone within the statutory timeline, cross-agency MN.IT staff, led by Assistant Commissioner Tarek Tomes, has been tasked with developing these SLAs in collaboration with with Minnesota Management Budget (MMB).

The process has been based on an Agency Centralized Reference Model created over the past few months by MN.IT’s agency-based CIOs, defining the common services, functions and processes all agency-based offices will adopt over the next few years.

The team also reviewed SLAs that currently exist within state governments and the private sector. While they found that others in the private and public sector were on the same road, none had yet reached the final destination, meaning that MN.IT Services and the State of Minnesota would be blazing a new trail in the development of such comprehensive service level agreements within state government.
“Although this is uncharted territory, we’re confident that MN.IT Services has the expertise in place to meet and even exceed the legislative intent for these agreements,” Tomes said.
Once completed, the SLAs will act as a service contract between MN.IT - the service provider - and other state agencies – the customers. The SLA will record a common understanding about services, priorities, responsibilities, guarantees, and warranties. It will also act as a living document that can aid in communications and conflict resolution moving forward, as well as providing performance measurements to ensure customer and business needs are being met effectively.
Work with agency partners will continue at MN.IT Services to develop these critical agreements ahead of the July 1 deadline, including monthly meetings with agency leadership to review progress and define the process.
“Our success lies in our ability to partner with our customers in order to define and deliver the services they need,” Tomes said.