California releases network consolidation scorecard, issues GIS policy

According to a report from the Office of Chief Information Officer (OCIO), the state of California is making progress on its network consolidation agenda. The states IT agency posted a scorecard on the status of executive branch agencies migrating to the California Government Enterprise Network (CGEN), indicating that nearly 80 of the state’s 123 departments have completed the first stage of migration.

By migrating to a single, modern network with a common configuration and architecture, state IT professionals can more effectively manage applications and services while improving network security and reliability.  The CGEN network utilizes carrier-managed solutions in partnership with Verizon and AT&T,  replacing more than 70 individual departmental private networks and the current network services managed by the Office of Technology Services.   The upgrade is expected to save energy costs, as well as reduce training and operational costs.

The first significant milestone in migration, the completion of the initial network profiles by each executive branch department (as represented in purple on the scorecard) provides the foundation for moving to the next phase, establishing the migration timeframes and schedule for each executive branch department.

OCIO also announced last week an initiative to boost its geospatial capabilities by mandating that, where an address exists, latitude and longitude coordinates are to be included as geographic data so they can be compared and analyzed to develop new information sources for state programs. According to the new policy, all executive branch agencies are now required to geocode databases or applications related to providing social services, law enforcement, economic development, tax collection and emergency response.

“By comparing new sets of geographic data, agencies will be able to discover new patterns of activity to help solve problems across the state.  For example, by comparing the frequency and location of illnesses to toxic waste sites, maps can be developed to better understand any correlations,” Christy Quinlan, Acting State Chief Information Officer, said in a statement.  “The state has a tremendous amount of data that can be leveraged to improve our understanding of what is happening in cities and neighborhoods throughout California.”

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