Information Technology Management Plan introduced
ITD teams have spent the past eight months developing an Information and Technology Transition Management Plan that will guide the future of the department’s technology programs. The management plan was introduced last week and is available for review on the Intranet at: http://intranet/ITTransition/
As part of the plan, teams developed business strategies
for operating and supporting existing systems and shaping the development
of new systems. David Fletcher, a renowned expert and consultant in
the marriage of transportation and information technology, guided development
of the ITD plan.
The plan is scheduled to be implemented over the next three years. The transition will start to take place in the next few months and continue incrementally over the next year. By July 2005 the strategic direction for information technology will be noticeably different than it is today, Fletcher added.
One of the most significant changes will be in the procurement of technology solutions. Most new computer applications will be purchased “off-the-shelf” from vendors and/or services will be outsourced to the private sector that can respond more efficiently.
Over time, application deployment that now takes place within Information Services will be transferred to the divisions… some functions and personnel will be realigned to their appropriate business areas. The decentralized approach will begin to emerge over the next year.
Beginning this year, there will be a more formal planning programming process for each of the six core business systems.
ITD will take a lead role in collaborating with other local and state agencies in the procurement and use of computer applications. Fletcher uses as an example, pooled resources from ITD and the Ada County Highway District to contract with a private firm for maintenance and operation of traffic signals in the Treasure Valley.
Similar partnerships should develop in other areas of the state, when and where appropriate.
At this point, much of the Information Technology management plan is conceptual; employees looking for specific details wont find them yet.
Were not at the level of deciding what might happen to existing positions, Fletcher said. Were focusing more on what new positions will be needed to support the strategy.
New positions will come in the form of enterprise architects (or business analysts), who will translate business needs into technology solutions. They also will develop technology standards (data, hardware, web, etc). New opportunities also will surface for technology procurement specialists individuals who can locate and obtain technology solutions through formal Requests for Proposal (RFP) process.
Our intention is to make these opportunities available to current staff and then provide the training and additional education they need for their new roles, Fletcher said.
One of the plans will outline IT workforce development, identifying the retraining and recruitment strategies for current and new technology employees, the consultant explained.
We recognized that going through a change of this type requires us to provide some employee assistance professional development and change management.
As the overall plan emerges and is implemented, ITD will move to the leading edge among the nations state transportation departments, Fletcher predicts. ITD, at the prompting of director Dave Ekern, will become a leading-edge user of technology, not a developer of technology.
An ambitious claim? Perhaps.
But one that is realistic, Fletcher insists.
Honestly, I see ITD becoming a technology leader, both among state agencies and in the transportation world. Were already emerging as a national leader. Other transportation departments are independently traveling parallel paths; some are a step removed, anxiously waiting to see how Idahos develops before launching their own technology initiatives.
Its almost like spontaneous combustion. We were at exactly the right place at exactly the right time to move forward with a new technology strategic plan. There is a best practices shift beginning to take place concurrently.
The federal government, through mandates from the Office of Management and Budget is heavily involved, on a large scale, in a similar technology program. States like Michigan, Florida and Minnesota are doing the same.
Transforming technology is driven by four primary factors, Fletcher explains:
Closer to home, ITD also will serve as a leader among government agencies in Idaho.
Just as other departments may join ITDs conversion to a new financial management system, they may recognize the benefits of forming partnerships or sharing technology resources and initiatives.