begins transition to new technology plan
An initiative that will transform ITDs use and application
of technology across the board reached a major milestone recently
when Director Dave Ekern announced significant changes in
Administrators recognized several years ago the critical
need to better coordinate the departments use of technology.
As a result of several internal and independent studies, the
department has developed an Information Strategy Plan (ISP)
that will elevate technology planning to the level of planning
The ISP identifies technology needs and funding requirements/sources
and integrates them into a coordinated schedule comparable
to the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).
Sponsors: Larry Falkner, Sue Simmons
Leader: David Fletcher
- Chris Atwood, Division of Motor Vehicles
- Sharon Bates, Information Services
- Liza Fox, Division of Planning
- Mary Harker, Human Resources
- Helen Jones, Information Services
- Rick Jones, Information Services
- Greg Laragan, Division of Highways
- Shanah Percy, Human Resources
- Mark Richardson, Information Services
- Ken Stewart, Division of Administrative Services
One of the first steps in that transition will be restructuring
the shape and responsibilities of Information Services (IS).
A less centralized approach, will create new opportunities
for IS employees, provide additional training and result in
improved service to internal and external clients.
The emerging structure will enable ITD to keep pace with
rapidly changing technology and customer expectations, something
that is difficult to do within the constraints of the present
organizational structure, Ekern explained.
He described the framework for that evolving structure on
Feb. 19 to an audience largely consisting of IS personnel
at ITD Headquarters in Boise. District engineers were briefed
the day before, and board members were apprised of the progress
on Feb. 25.
Ekern traced the historical application of technology at
ITD during his 90-minute presentation and talked about factors
that influenced the decision to reshape it. (To review the
directors PowerPoint presentation go to the following
server, directory and file: \\hqisfs01\is\Transformation\is_transform2-18.ppt
The first tangible step came this week with the formation
of a technology transition planning team that will plan the
new shape of Information Services. The 10-member team, along
with sponsors Sue Simmons and Larry Falkner, will meet for
the first time Tuesday to begin developing an implementation
strategy. The goal is to begin the transition process on July
1, Simmons said.
David Fletcher, who conducted an Enterprise Data Model study
and the Information Strategy Plan several years ago, will
lead the team.
Five driving forces prompted ITD to look at sweeping
changes in its use of technology the need to:
Simplify the delivery of services and information
from a customer perspective
Manage technology from a statewide and integrated
Promote collaborative relationships within
ITD, and among state agencies and with local government
Establish ongoing relationships with the
private sector, and
Use state of the art procurement
Existing policies and procedures do not allow the department
the flexibility to adapt to rapidly changing technology, Ekern
said. A significant gap exists between the needs of the department,
customer expectations and the traditional model.
The new organization will be based on a distributed
delivery through six major systems, explains Simmons,
with a focus on off-the-shelf software and the outsourcing
of development as much as practical.
Each major system will have a business area that will
be responsible for the delivery of the applications necessary
to perform the business function. This will involve planning,
budgeting and acquiring the applications necessary
all of which will be within the enterprise architecture established
at the central information services architecture group.
The six major business systems will be:
Engineering, under the direction of the
Administrative and agency support, under
Planning, under the Divisionn of Planning,
Financial, under Administrative Services,
Operations and Emergency Response, under
Government Services, for which both the
Division of Motor Vehicles and Administrative Services will
have areas of responsibility
Those six business systems were condensed from 24 diverse,
and sometimes independent, technology functions that now exist
in the department.
A management group will be responsible for monitoring all
ITD technology policies and directions. The new structure
will include the Information Strategy Plan/Technology Improvement
Program, similar in structure to STIP, and will include a
systematic approach to funding through the departments
In a significant departure from present practices, ITD will
look toward commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software and systems,
rather than developing its own programs internally. Some IS
staff will transition from todays centralized model
to work directly within business systems, such as the Division
of Motor Vehicles.
Some of the IS functions will be preserved in three new service
groups: Architecture, Technical Services and Network Operations,
which will be under the direction of a chief technology officer
(CTO), Administrative Services and the Information Management
Access Team (IMAT).
Obviously this is a change in how we operate today,
Simmons said. There will be several new positions created
in the architecture group that will be filled from within.
We will hire consultants to train staff and assist in updating
and maintaining existing Enterprise Architecture and to establish
a process to ensure ongoing support.
Development and implementation of the departments new
Information Strategy Plan could take several years.