Arizona releases statewide strategic IT plan

Arizona’s Government Information Technology Agency (GITA) announced its FY 2011 Statewide Strategic IT Plan this week, outlining the state’s technology priorities and recapping some of the state’s accomplishments. Achieving efficiency & cost savings, enabling the private sector and building platforms for citizen engagement are among the five statewide goals outlined in the Plan.

While referencing the economic downturn and emphasizing the need to optimize current technology investments, Arizona CIO & Director of GITA Chad Kirkpatrick said that, “Maximizing the use of the state’s IT resources should be seen as part of the solution in meeting Arizona’s budget challenges,” in a statement.

First and foremost on the statewide strategic plan is a commitment to improve efficiency and reduce costs. The state will focus on five areas to achieve efficiencies and drive down costs, including the use of cloud technologies and evaluating SaaS and IaaS business models. Data center consolidation and a hardware/software recycling program will also help prevent wasteful expenditures, the plan said.

In an effort to enable the private sector, GITA will continue with e-Licensing and e-Procurement systems, while exploring a centralized data analytics approach to service delivery and registration processes.

The GITA plan also seeks to engage citizens through an apps contest called “Apps for AZ” and build more transparency into the state’s processes and financial management programs. The state is looking to implement a one-stop-shop for government services to compliment a statewide initiative to redesign all agency websites and make information more accessible. Ninety state websites have already been redesigned, giving them a modern focus with a “branded” theme. An additional 42 state websites are remaining in the project to be redesigned.

Increased use of GIS, public safety interoperable communications systems, and enhancement of the state’s IT and broadband infrastructure will ensure government effectiveness, meanwhile, security and privacy round out the top five priorities of GITA’s strategic plan. According to the report, over $56 million in broadband grants have been awarded to Arizona, meant to expand high-speed Internet to all corners of the state and Native American tribal areas.

“This plan sets forth the direction of the state’s IT with five major goals, foremost of which is efficiency and cost savings,” said Mr. Kirkpatrick.

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