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Five Year Strategies

Cloud with circuit board iconIT Consolidation Background

Laws of Minnesota 2011, First Special Session chapter 10, article 4 mandates the consolidation of Minnesota executive branch information technology (IT) under the State Chief Information Officer (CIO.)

The intent of the Legislature and the Governor was to bring all the IT resources of the state under the authority and direction of a single entity in order to 1) increase accountability for the efficient and effective management of IT through a single view; 2) improve IT’s effectiveness in meeting the business needs of state government and increase the potential for technology-driven improvements to government service; 3) foster collaboration and shared service opportunities; and 4) find and capitalize on opportunities for efficiencies.

The IT Consolidation Act called for:

Powers, duties, responsibilities, personnel, and assets relating to functions assigned to the chief information officer… are transferred to the Office of Enterprise Technology from all other state agencies… by October 1, 2011, with the exception of state agency chief information officers which are transferred 30 days after final enactment. By July 1, 2013, the state chief information officer shall control and direct all information and telecommunication technology spending authorized under Minnesota Statutes, section 16E.016.2 

From the time the State of Minnesota began IT consolidation in late 2011 to the preparation of this report in 2017, the agency has achieved its primary goals: consolidating people, dollars and assets, delivering cost-savings and improving efficiency.

Minnesota IT Services has achieved full, 100 percent consolidation of staff and resources. Today, we have also achieved over 90 percent financial consolidation, and will, within the scope of this plan, achieve full 100 percent financial consolidation – allowing the state to begin to build centralized records of technology investments, as well as directly manage and monitor costs, anticipate needs and future volume demand.

Total State IT Spend
(in Thousands)

Graph of MNIT's Total State IT Spend
*Reflects budgeted numbers

Since consolidation, MNIT has realized roughly $60 million in cost avoidance as of 2016.

After successfully completing these foundational aspects of consolidating technology in Minnesota, we are now moving toward the true operating power that a consolidated IT organization can deliver for the enterprise. Looking forward, MNIT is moving its strategic focus towards the delivery of services. While we must continue to manage costs, we are also pivoting to become a more digital Minnesota, just like the private sector. As this digital transformation takes place, we have to be concerned with the safety and security of our information. We need to enhance the speed of our delivery, with a blend of internal and externally-procured services.

In order to improve cybersecurity and efficiency, Minnesota IT Services is beginning the process of planning for and investing in modernization for high-risk IT systems and developing an enterprise roadmap, with a focus on the modernization of Minnesota’s IT portfolio. Moving state government to modern infrastructure and cloud-based solutions is a fundamental necessity to building a digital government that is responsive to citizen needs and secure by design. Doing so will enhance state government’s ability to protect sensitive data, reduce costs, and deliver world-class services to the public.

It is the vision of the State CIO and agency leadership to not just gain the efficiency of combined services, but also to reform and improve the delivery of information technology through the tools afforded the executive branch through this legislation.

Lock IconCybersecurity

Minnesota will be a leader among state government, charged with protecting data and applications against external and internal threats. Facing unprecedented challenges, information security is now our number one priority and the top priority for governors across the nation. Advanced attacks are becoming more sophisticated and more common, testing the limits of existing capabilities.

According to more than half of state security leaders in the U.S., an advanced attack will affect their organization in the next year. The pervasiveness of these threats means Chief Information Security Officers must quickly develop cutting-edge threat intelligence competencies.

Implement the security foundation. Minnesota IT Services has done extensive work to design a solid security foundation for the executive branch of state government. Work is now underway to implement that foundation, which includes a comprehensive Service Delivery Model, Policy and Standard Framework and an Information Security Strategic Plan.  Implement the foundational pillars of our Enterprise Security Program, including the 18 strategies in our newly updated Information Security Strategic Plan. 
Provide leadership to other levels, units, and branches of government. State leaders will need to partner much more effectively to address the increasing barrage of advanced and persistent threats. Minnesota IT Services hopes to serve as a thought leader to make all Minnesota government entities more secure. Realize intergovernmental resource sharing, implement formal processes to disseminate cyber threat intelligence and create a Minnesota Government Information Sharing and Analysis Organization.
Improve Minnesota’s cybersecurity workforce. Cybersecurity has a zero percent unemployment rate. Both public and private sector organizations are scrambling to attract and retain talent, but the pool of qualified candidates simply does not exist. Partner with academia to address the talent shortcomings that currently exist, promoting cybersecurity careers and innovative programs like Scholarship for Service.

Hand Shake IconIT Leadership for our Partners

Building on IT consolidation, Minnesota IT Services is poised to transition into the next phase of IT maturity—moving beyond serving as an “order taker” fulfilling technology needs, to a leadership role. As a leader and partner, MNIT will provide State of Minnesota agencies with solutions that are targeted to solve business problems, while remaining focused on enterprise efficiencies and state agency partnerships. This model will leverage the state’s information technology portfolio, take into account industry best practice, and promote enterprise business and technology solutions to both solve business needs and maximize the benefits of shared services.

Provide technology leadership and education to state agencies to improve processes and enhance decision-making.
  • Align with agencies as equal partners to identify areas where digitization can most effectively make government smarter, more efficient and more accessible for Minnesotans.

  • Provide a high-level perspective and technology expertise to state government to bring together and balance state agencies’ individual goals with solutions available in the State of Minnesota’s technology portfolio, and the private industry marketplace.
Create enterprise strategies around solutions and elevate business problems that share common technology solutions.
  • Utilize the IT governance framework to evaluate business needs, priorities and areas where technology can provide value and enhance services for Minnesotans, and work to ensure that diverse business needs can be addressed through enterprise strategies.

  • Develop enterprise technologies to reduce duplication, enable integration and save dollars.
Partner with agencies to use technology to connect with Minnesotans and provide better online government services.
  • Develop and procure systems that are accessible and usable by all Minnesotans.

  • Implement enterprise communication platforms that strengthen the State of Minnesota’s ability to deliver services digitally and connect with Minnesotans.

  • Develop mobile applications that provide secure public access to government services and information.
Implement data management strategies that help agencies to manage data as a strategic information asset.
  • Protect and secure Minnesotans’ private data.

  • Engage in cross-agency data governance processes to help implement technology solutions.

  • Develop and execute architecture, policies, practices and procedures that properly manage the full data life-cycle needs of the enterprise.
Harness the power of the State of Minnesota enterprise to reduce the time it takes to deliver solutions, leverage the economy of scale, and build on our shared experience.
  • Provide technology leadership expertise to our partners to identify the best solutions for individual and shared problems.

  • Leverage our buying power as the State of Minnesota enterprise to drive down the cost of shared technology needs.

  • Implement applications portfolio rationalization to plan for the future and anticipate needs.

  • Implement technology standards to ensure our state can invest, plan and prioritize for technology needs – both today, and for the future of our state.

Flower Growing out of Hand IconSmart IT Investments

The way that technology is purchased and delivered in government is changing rapidly as “Everything as a Service” (XaaS) cloud computing strategies become more common. These new models of service delivery also change how the government consumes, measures and pays for these services. “Infrastructure as a Service” (IaaS), “Platform as a Service” (PaaS), and “Software as a Service” (SaaS) offer many benefits to the enterprise. For example, the ability to scale and offer multi-tenancy allows resources and costs to be shared among agencies, and lets agencies choose how much of the service they need, and when to use it. As Minnesota invests in new technologies, we will look for the most efficient way to deploy them.

Minnesota IT Services has implemented a transformative delivery model that shifts the agency from a service provider model to a true partnership with each State of Minnesota agency. We will use our Governance Framework to ensure that feedback from agency leaders is incorporated into the services that we provide and that the cost of the service is transparent. Our partners will help us determine if a service should be delivered centrally for the enterprise, locally due to highly customized business needs, or through a third party. We will make smart IT investments that deliver quality services at a good value for the state.

Services provided by Minnesota IT Services: Connectivity, End User Support. Infrastructure as a Service, Software as a Service and Platform as a Service
Services provided by Minnesota IT Services

Provide the agility and transparency necessary for agencies to make and adjust IT investment decisions based on their business need.
  • Transparency in MNIT’s rate and billing methodologies.

  • Maintain a plain language description of the enterprise services along with the tiers and add-ons available to agencies to help agencies make IT spending decisions.

  • Streamline and modernize procurement processes for IT products and services.
Advance investment in IT for mission-critical systems and services.
  • Manage the state’s application inventory to build a strategic roadmap for modernization of critical systems.

  • Advocate for investment in modern IT systems and move away from once-in-a-generation investments.

  • Strategically invest in life-cycle replacement of hardware inventory to maintain supportability, availability and security.

Line Chart IconDeliver

We will be measured by how well we successfully deliver for the State of Minnesota and how well it is working for Minnesotans. We will deliver solutions with full IT life cycle management that are sustainable and take into account rapidly changing IT best practices. We will recruit and maintain a workforce that has the knowledge and skills to help implement Minnesota’s technology vision.

Excel at the execution and delivery of Minnesota’s technology priorities.
  • Manage the portfolio of active technology projects across the State of Minnesota. Clearly define new projects, manage and monitor progress, and ensure solutions will be delivered on time and on budget.

  • Continue the development of mature project portfolio management practices to provide the leadership, expertise and guidance to end technology projects that are not delivering as promised, and prevent further expenditure.

  • Work across the State of Minnesota to help modernize its largest IT platforms more quickly and efficiently.
In a fast-paced and quickly developing technology environment, ensure the State of Minnesota is in alignment with technology industry best practices and emerging developments
  • As technology leaders for the State of Minnesota, pursue alignment with IT industry standards across the spectrum of responsibilities that Minnesota IT Services touches—from providing services, to managing projects, to building systems – and more.

  • Implement evolving industry best practices to ensure our state IT infrastructure has the ability to transform to meet business needs efficiently and effectively.
Plan for the future of technology in Minnesota to ensure our state can succeed in the digital economy.
  • Involve state agency leaders and chief business technology officers in collaborative decision making.

  • Ensure state agencies have cost-effective solutions to meet and manage their technology needs, while planning for the future and life cycle of technology in the state.

  • Help state agency partners explore better ways to harness the power of the data and technologies they already have.
Ensure the state’s information technology workforce has the knowledge and skills to keep up with changing industry best practices, support the state’s technology infrastructure and implement Minnesota’s technology vision.
  • Utilize public-private sector partnerships to increase our effectiveness and delivery.

  • Build a talent pipeline that gives us the flexibility to build and invest in a future state workforce, utilizing innovative staffing and recruitment strategies that grow entry level talent into state IT career professionals.

  • Meet the state’s IT workforce needs through diverse recruitment strategies that harness talent in communities and locations across Minnesota.
Ensure that technology is accessible and easy to use for business partners and for all Minnesotans.
  • Provide education and skill-building opportunities so that all users have the knowledge necessary to leverage and harness the technology at their fingertips.

  • Design and deliver user-focused technology that makes dealing with government easier, simpler and better for the people of our state, including people with disabilities.

Challenges & Opportunities

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