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Executive Branch IT consolidation efforts continue

July 17, 2012

MN.IT Services is celebrating a number of recent major milestones this summer, as the newly renamed organization works to implement the 2011 IT consolidation law and build a unified IT organization for the State of Minnesota. 

A New Name: MN.IT Services – formerly the Office of Enterprise Technology – now incorporates all information technology services and resources for the executive branch, operating both centralized and agency-specific IT services with a combined staff of 2100 in 23 offices. The new name was adopted to begin 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.

IT Master Plan: In April, MN.IT Services published the Minnesota IT Master Plan, five-year strategies that will guide the investments and priorities for IT in the executive branch. 

IT Governance Framework: A new IT Governance Framework was published in early June that defines decision-making processes for the new organization. Although IT strategy and decision-making fall under the State CIO’s authority by statute, MN.IT recognizes the critical need for customer input in governance at all levels, and has fashioned a governance structure and process that ensure that IT serves the needs and best interests of the State. Visit the MN.IT Services website to read the full documents. 

Service Level Agreements: The statutory deadline for completion of comprehensive service level agreements (SLAs) for all executive branch IT services occurred at the end of June and, because of the exceptional efforts of a large number of MN.IT and agency business staff, these important documents were completed ahead of schedule on this first-of its-kind undertaking. 

A Service Level agreement is a negotiated agreement that records a common understanding about services, priorities, responsibilities, guarantees and warranties between two parties, where one is the customer and the other is the service provider.

Minnesota is the first state in the nation to enter into such comprehensive agreements for the delivery of government IT services, and is receiving national attention for its efforts. Developing the initial agreements is a major accomplishment that is already paying dividends as it triggers process improvement efforts and IT-to-business conversations about priorities and roles within agencies.   

The initial agreements will define the as-is of state IT services, costs, service levels and metrics, providing a critical baseline for the improvement of IT services moving forward. The Service Level Agreements will be living documents that help MN.IT Services and its customers plan and measure services on an ongoing basis. Service Level Agreements for each individual service are being developed for MN.IT’s non-executive branch customers as well. More information is available from customers’ account executives.