Since 2011, a bipartisan coalition backed by support from Governor Dayton in Minnesota has been working on technology reforms that have saved the state approximately $17.4 million so far. New data released yesterday from state officials and MN.IT shows that contract consolidation, waste elimination, and reforming business processes have cut overall spend.
As part of that ongoing consolidation, MN.IT Services established a statewide project management office to ensure greater accountability for the state’s major technology investments and contracts. The agency is now negotiating contracts on behalf of all state agencies – saving Minnesota more than $11 million on software and licensing contracts in 2012. These consolidation efforts are expected to save an additional $6.4 million by the end of 2013.
Though greater collaboration and consolidation the state has been able to complete projects more quickly and for a lower cost. Some of those projects include: consolidating 36 datacenters into 2 to serve all of state government; creating a “Made in Minnesota” database and program for local businesses that encourages them to buy from each other instead of outsourcing, and replacing a 20-year-old IT system at the Department of Human Services.
Other notable efforts include work with the Department of Human Services to streamline and improve an old and outdated system for filling prescriptions at state hospitals and medical facilities. Since making those improvements, transcription errors have decreased, and awareness of drug interactions and allergies has improved. Overall, patient safety has increased by 40%. Nurses tasked with filling prescriptions have been able to cut their overall work on that task from three hours a day to fifteen minutes a day.
As CivSource has reported, cost savings from modernization, business process reforms and the move to cloud are saving state governments millions nationwide. This trend is only expected to continue as more antiquated systems age out.
IT systems in the Departments of Natural Resources, Public Safety and Education are also slated for modernization over the near term. “These improvements represent only the tip of the iceberg,” said Carolyn Parnell, Commissioner of MN.IT Services and the state’s Chief Information Officer.