Consolidation of information technology services across administration has produced big savings
ST. PAUL, MN – Governor Mark Dayton and MN.IT Services Commissioner Carolyn Parnell announced today that the overhaul of Minnesota’s information technology administration and services has saved state taxpayers over $27.4 million to date. MN.IT Services expects to save at least another $7 million under these new reforms by the end of this year.
The IT overhaul, which Governor Dayton signed into law with bipartisan support in 2011, has reduced administrative waste, consolidated state contracts, reformed administrative processes, and implemented new accountability measures to produce significant savings. The Governor today praised the state’s IT workforce for these cost saving reforms.
“MN.IT's innovative work has produced significant savings for Minnesota taxpayers,” said Governor Dayton. “Their reforms are also delivering faster and more efficient services to our citizens. I thank Commissioner Parnell for her strong leadership and MN.IT Services' hard-working employees for their accomplishments."
In 2011, Governor Dayton signed bipartisan legislation to consolidate the state’s information technology systems, employees, and administration. As part of that consolidation effort, MN.IT established a statewide project management office to ensure greater accountability for the state’s major technology investments and contracts.
In addition to increasing transparency, the reforms at MN.IT also are saving taxpayer dollars. The agency is now negotiating contracts on behalf of all state agencies – saving Minnesota more than $15 million on software and licensing contracts since 2012. These contract consolidation efforts are expected to save at least an additional $7 million by the end of 2014.
“Delivering efficient and cost effective services was an important value proposition of IT consolidation,” said Carolyn Parnell, Commissioner of MN.IT Services and the State’s Chief Information Officer. “Our early success comes primarily from the opportunity to leverage group purchasing and negotiate enterprise contracts to avoid the cost of smaller, individual purchasing agency-by-agency. There are still more areas where we can realize savings and we intend to maximize those opportunities.”
The consolidation of IT resources also is improving collaboration between state agencies on complex IT projects. When state agencies collaborate more effectively, major state information technology projects are being completed more quickly and at a lower price. During the last several years, MN.IT has been completing other projects that enhance data security, save money, increase efficiency, and ultimately provide better services to Minnesotans. Some of those projects have included:
Data Center Consolidation – The State recently de-commissioned one of its largest data centers as part of a strategy to reduce the State’s overall data center footprint through consolidation and server virtualization. So far, MN.IT has reduced by over 60 percent the number of physical servers managed by the State.
Going Mobile – MN.IT is helping state agencies go mobile through projects such as the MN Report Card, a mobile device-friendly platform for disseminating school performance data to students, parents and teachers.
Online, Streamlined Permitting – MPARS, the Department of Natural Resource’s new online permitting and reporting system, provides an online application, approval, and tracking capability for several types of water-related environmental permits. Developed to streamline the application process, the system allows for application tracking and the collection of monitoring information and permit fees online. On average, permits are issued or denied a month faster than under the manually-intensive, former way of doing business.