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Celebrating MNIT's Tenth Anniversary

On October 1, 2011, legislation officially consolidated Minnesota's state information technology.

Over the past decade, we've experienced many pivotal milestones (highlights shown below) that affected our business partners, MNIT staff, and the state. Our history is larger than can be shown on a timeline, but with 10 years behind us, we're excited to move forward to an exciting and dynamic future of government technology. 

Watch a video that celebrates MNIT’s 10th birthday with colleagues past and present. MNIT 10th Birthday video transcript (PDF).

Pivotal moments in MNIT’s history

View the graphic version of the timeline.



  • Governor Mark Dayton appoints Carolyn Parnell as Commissioner of the Office of Enterprise Technology, which became MNIT, and State Chief Information Officer (CIO) in February. 
  • State government shutdown occurs in July.
  • 2011 legislation consolidates state IT functions and staff as the Office of Enterprise Technology’s (OET) original enabling statute (Minn. Stat. 16E.01) was amended to consolidate the management of all information technology.
  • Minnesota Statute 16E.036 creates the Technology Advisory Committee (TAC).
  • The Office of Enterprise Technology temporarily changes its name from OET to “State IT.”
  • Five-year project launches to consolidate 36+ state data centers.    
  • Commissioner Parnell begins Town Halls and listening sessions with IT staff to hear employee thoughts and ideas about the future of the newly consolidated agency.
  • A temporary intranet is launched for the new State IT organization.
  • MNIT publishes the first issue of Morning Java, an internal daily newsletter for state technology employees.


  • A contest opens for state employees to help select a new name for the State IT organization, with "MN.IT Services" announced as the winner.
  • State agency leaders enter into Service Level Agreements, which included agency inventories of all IT items, mandated by legislation. 
  • “MNIT on the Move” launches, as part of the tactical plan to organize functional areas, centralize utility services, and implement an enterprise framework model.  
  • MNIT teams engage in Minnesota Health Insurance Exchange (HIX) work. HIX later becomes MNsure.
  • The MNIT Employee Recognition Committee (ERC) establishes programs to recognize employees’ contributions to state government. The ERC remains one of the longest-standing employee-driven volunteer organizations in MNIT.
  • MNIT publishes the first Master Plan, Strategic Plan, and Tactical Plan. The Tactical Plan covers Fiscal Year 2012 through Fiscal Year 2014.
  • MNIT establishes its mission, vision, and values statements. 


  • The State of Minnesota’s Accessibility Standard becomes law. 
  • The new Enterprise Data Center 4 facility construction is completed in June and ready for occupancy; physical equipment and data migrations continue through December as data centers are decommissioned.
  • MNsure launches for Minnesota's health insurance marketplace, along with a modernized, integrated eligibility system for public healthcare programs – Minnesota Eligibility Technology System (METS).
  • MNIT’s ERC establishes “Living the Mission”, an internal campaign with quarterly peer-to-peer award events: Can do!, Respect, Work Smart, Practice Leadership, and Living the Mission awards. This program was expanded significantly, with ceremonies, gifts and certificates, and an online nomination form.
  • MNIT launches “Where’s OET” contest to help find and replace old OET references with “MN.IT Services.”
  • Minnovations program launches in June to harness employees’ creativity and ideas to solve real problems, assess feasibility, and foster a sustainable, innovative culture.


  • Code for America and MNIT host Capitol Code, a hackathon that results in the first iteration of the Homeless Veterans Registry.
  • Minnovations Program facilitates Governor Dayton's Unsession to crowdsource ways to make government work better, delivering 1,200 ideas. 
  • MNIT establishes Salesforce Center of Excellence to provide licensing, storage, hosting, and professional services.
  • MNIT standardizes job classifications for Project Managers, Business Analysts, and Quality Assurance positions.
  • MNIT’s ERC introduces Achievement Awards, a precursor to the current Annual Awards program.  


  • Governor Dayton appoints Tom Baden as MNIT Commissioner and State CIO. 
  • Multi-year Operational Services Optimization (OSO) Program begins, with projects and initiatives to define and implement enterprise and shared services, to provide standardized offerings and operational processes for rates definitions, hosting and workstation management, LAN, WAN and Teleco services, and service desk and cloud hosting options. 
  • Minnesota High Tech Association’s Tekne Awards recognize MNIT for the Homeless Veterans Registry App.
  • MNIT establishes Financial Steering Team to advise on MNIT enterprise services rate-setting. 
  • MNIT implements an enterprise license for GovDelivery, a mass email communications tool.
  • MNIT holds its first Length of Service Awards ceremony “MNIT Milestones” in March of 2015 in the St Paul College Theatre to recognize employee service to the state of Minnesota.  


  • Workforce One, a collaborative project between MNIT and the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), wins a State IT Recognition Award from the National Association of State CIOs (NASCIO). 
  • Minnesota High Tech Association’s Tekne Awards recognize MNIT for the Cybersecurity County Grant Program (part of the Statewide Security Monitoring Initiative).


  • From January to June, MNIT migrates the State of Minnesota to Microsoft Office 365 Government Community Cloud (O365 GCC). This migrates more than 38,000 Identity, Skype, Outlook, OneDrive, and SharePoint accounts and sites on concurrent schedules. This digital modernization gave Minnesota cloud-based user identity and authentication services, security enhancements, and state-of-the-art productivity tools.
  • MNLARS launches in July, replacing an aging, legacy IT system to manage vehicle registration in Minnesota.
  • MNIT launches first digital campaign to inform state employees and Minnesotans about cybersecurity best practices in coordination with Cybersecurity Awareness Month. 
  • The Food License Wizard, a project in partnership with MNIT and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, wins a Minnesota High Tech Association Tekne Award.
  • NASCIO recognizes two projects with a State IT Recognition Award: Tempo Go Live, a project completed in partnership with MNIT and the Minnesota Department of Pollution Control; and the Minnesota Geospatial Commons, a collaborative, data-sharing website for state geographical information.
  • MNIT hosts the agency’s first MNIT Week celebration, a training opportunity for MNIT staff across state government.
  • ERC rolls out MNIT’s Annual Awards program.


  • Governor Mark Dayton appoints Brigadier General Johanna Clyborne as MNIT Commissioner and State CIO. 
  • MNIT goes to the State Fair with our first booth in the Education Building!
  • MNIT Employee Recognition Committee launches the “Going the Extra Mile (GEM)” program, a peer to peer recognition award. 
  • The MNIT DNR team launches the Minnesota Climate Trends app to help Minnesotans explore available data on historic temperature and precipitation trends throughout the state.
  • MNIT launches the ITS Trainee Program, a program designed to build a pipeline of trained IT talent to state agencies.


  • Governor Tim Walz appoints Chief Technology Officer Bill Poirier to be Acting Commissioner.
  • Governor Tim Walz appoints Tarek Tomes as Commissioner and State CIO.
  • Minnesota Legislature includes a $20M cybersecurity investment in State Government, Elections, and Veterans & Military Affairs budget bill to allocate funding for MNIT’s cybersecurity program.
  • MNIT supports upgrade to SWIFT, the state’s accounting and procurement system, used by more than 5,000 state employees and nearly 240,000 active vendors to process around 46,000 payments per week. 
  • MNIT teams partner with the Minnesota Department of Health to develop the Point of Dispensing PreCheck tool and the Point of Dispensing Locator tool. NASCIO recognizes the work with a State IT Recognition Award
  • Governor Tim Walz establishes the Blue Ribbon Council on Information Technology with Executive Order 19-02.
  • The MNIT Enterprise Service Desk begins a phased rollout of the Minnesota Service Hub ticketing system. 
  • The Map Community of Practice introduces the first accessible map guidance in the nation. 
  • MNIT partners with the Minnesota Department of Education to launch the Minnesota Report Card providing education data to help parents, educators, schools, districts, and Minnesotans make informed, engaged decisions.
  • MNIT partners with the Department of Administration to launch the state’s Sustainability Reporting Tool, which shows benchmarks and progress toward reducing the state’s footprint.  
  • MNIT teams help establish the nation's first cyber-secured Connected Corridor (Connected Automated Vehicle (CAV) technologies) that sends basic safety messages between CAVs and traffic signals.
  • MNIT launches internal Connected Culture campaign – strengthening relationships within our teams, with our business partners, and with the Minnesotans that we serve.


  • MNIT supports the state’s COVID-19 pandemic response. The agency:
    • Establishes and supports and to provide pandemic information to Minnesotans.
    • Helps 36,000+ state employees transition to remote work.
    • Protects state systems against Distributed Denial of Service attacks in the wake of civil unrest following the murder of George Floyd.
    • Rapidly upgrades Minnesota’s Unemployment Insurance system to meet unprecedented need for over 1 million Minnesotans, paying out over $9.1B in claims.
  • MNIT teams partner with the Department of Labor and Industry to launch Work Comp Campus, a new cloud-native, web-based portal for filing and accessing workers’ compensation claims.
  • MNIT and the Department of Public Safety launch MNDRIVE, replacing MNLARS. 
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs presents the Abraham Lincoln Pillar of Excellence Award to the Minnesota’s Veterans Application Tracking System (VATS) – a joint project between MDVA and MNIT – transforming the way veterans in Minnesota apply for and receive education benefits through the Minnesota GI Bill. 
  • Minnesota launches COVIDaware MN, an exposure notification app made available by the State of Minnesota with technology from the nonprofit PathCheck Foundation, Apple, and Google.
  • MNIT releases the 2020 Strategic Plan and 2020 Tactical Plan with immediate opportunities for action to achieve the longer-term Strategic Plan.
  • Commissioner Tomes wins the Twin Cities Nonprofit/Public Sector CIO of the Year ORBIE Award


  • Governor Tim Walz signs HF 1952 into law, shifting MNIT's status from an "Office" to a "Department," and aligning membership of the Technology Advisory Committee (TAC) with the BRC-IT.
  • MNIT’s Office of Transformation launches the Modernization Playbook, an end-to-end framework of consistent roles, language, and activities to drive modernization.
  • MNIT partners with the Minnesota Department of Health to stand up COVID-19 vaccination tools, including the Vaccine Connector, case investigation/contact tracing tools, a vaccine locator website, and a vaccine data dashboard. 
  • COVIDaware MN exposure notification system expands to over 1.6 million users and over 29% of the state population. 
  • MNIT wraps up the 2020 Tactical Plan and develops and launches the 2022 Tactical Plan.
  • MNIT celebrates 10 years as an agency.

Minnesota State Chief Information Officers and MNIT Commissioners

  • Gopal Khanna (2005-2010): Minnesota's first CIO
  • Carolyn Parnell (2011-2014)
  • Tom Baden (2015-2018)
  • Johanna Clyborne (2018-2019)
  • Bill Poirier (January-April 2019) Acting Commissioner
  • Tarek Tomes (April 2019-Present)
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