Gov. Ricketts Announces that Initial OCIO Reforms Save Taxpayers Over $5.3 Million
Cost savings have been realized through eliminating waste and centralizing services
Centralization initiative enhances information technology security
LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts and Chief Information Officer (CIO) Ed Toner announced over $5.3 million in savings from initial reforms in the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO). Cost savings have been realized through a variety of initiatives that eliminate waste and centralize information technology services for a variety of state and local government agencies across Nebraska.
Earlier this year, the Governor named Ed Toner to lead the OCIO, the state agency which manages and services information technology for the State of Nebraska. At the time of Toner’s appointment, the Governor promised that Toner would “put his private-sector experience to work helping state agencies use 21st-century innovations to find new efficiencies and cost savings while providing quality services to the taxpayers of Nebraska.”
Today’s announcement is just the first step in delivering on this promise with over 20 different cost savings which include:
- Ninety counties have agreed to relocate their servers to a central location hosted by the OCIO reducing server maintenance and infrastructure costs.
- Five agencies including OCIO, Roads, Labor, Corrections, and Health and Human Services are consolidating agency help desk support services. The OCIO anticipates that additional agencies will follow suit.
- The OCIO has worked to utilize existing software and make it available at an enterprise level instead of the agency level, reducing the need for multiple software licenses, servers, and maintenance agreements for each server.
These initiatives will result in $5,321,050 in savings realized over the next 10 years. A chart providing a full breakdown of the cost savings is attached.
“In this first year of my administration, we have focused on running government more like a business,” said Governor Ricketts. “Thanks to Ed’s leadership, we are already successfully realizing savings for the taxpayers of Nebraska, and we will continue to look for new opportunities across state government to reduce waste and to cut bureaucratic red tape.”
“By approaching the information technology needs of the state at the enterprise level, we have more easily and more quickly been able to identify ways to streamline the delivery of our services,” said CIO Ed Toner. “These first steps not only demonstrate fiscal restraint, but they have also help implement information technology best practices which improve the security of the state’s servers.”
CENTRALIZATION BRINGS COST SAVINGS AND SECURITY
In his first months on the job, Toner has begun to move the state away from decentralized infrastructure and data management to a centralized model that provides enhanced data security and availability. Aided by Toner’s leadership, the state has received agreements from counties to move their servers from around the state to OCIO facilities. Upon completion in Q1 2016 of this initiative, all counties with the exception of Douglas, Lancaster, and Sarpy will receive services from one streamlined network that adheres to security standards and unifies security monitoring.
At the state level, Toner has also begun the process of centralizing state agency servers to reduce overall risk and complexity. The process of moving agency servers to a centralized location started with the State Patrol relocating their servers to a central location hosted by the OCIO, and will continue with additional agencies relocating their servers in the coming weeks and months.
The Governor’s Office and OCIO are committed to pursuing additional initiatives on an ongoing basis to better utilize technology to reduce expenses to taxpayers.