Honolulu Star-Advertiser Editorial
January 23, 2013

Excerpt from editorial in today’s edition:

We like the governor’s forward-thinking when it comes to updating the state’s antiquated and uneven computer systems, working off a comprehensive game plan by Office of Information Management and Technology. The idea is to integrate the state’s system for finances, budget, payroll, human resources, acquisition, assets and grants. This investment in coordinated, better technology today should pay dividends in the future in terms of efficiency, in time and money.

Read the entire editorial… Read more

CIO Talk Radio (ciotalkradio.com)
January 16, 2013

Host: Sanjog Aul

Despite the best intentions of an IT leader and his/her organization, efforts at change usually fail. A big announcement with lots of fanfare and a catchy slogan doesn’t guarantee success… Rather, effective organizational change requires active, engaged participation by everyone affected. So, how does a leader go about enlisting the heads, hearts, and hopes of his/her people, in order to implement effective and lasting change? Sanjog Aul interviews Hawaii State CIO Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia, Dr. Roger Dean Duncan and Daniel Traynor on changement management experiences and best practices.

Listen to the entire interview at http://www.ciotalkradio.com/event/436-affecting-lasting-change.html.

Hawaii Business magazine
January 2013

by Dennis Hollier

Correcting 40 years of underinvestment

Sonny Bhagowalia has a plan to fix the state’s archaic IT system

Photo: David Croxford

In June 2011, Bhagowalia became the state of Hawaii’s first chief information officer and the point man in Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s ambitious plan to “reinvent government.” Bhagowalia and his small team at the new Office of Information Management and Technology are responsible for modernizing the state’s patchwork of antiquated IT systems, and for streamlining business practices across 18 departments, 108 attached agencies, and 168 boards and commissions.

“We’ve identified 743 different legacy systems,” Bhagowalia says. “This is a massive challenge. I have to call a spade a spade.”

Bhagowalia certainly has the bona fides for the job. Before coming to Hawaii, he held a string of increasingly powerful IT positions in Washington, D.C. Most recently, he was deputy associate administrator for the Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies at the General Services Administration, where he spearheaded the federal government’s open-government initiatives, including cloud computing, mobile applications and the much admired Data.gov. Before that, he served as CIO of the Department of the Interior, a vast bureaucracy with 2,400 locations, 70,000 employees and an IT portfolio exceeding $1 billion. He also served as CIO for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and as an IT executive for the FBI.

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Honolulu Star-Advertiser
December 18, 2012

The administration wants money for computer systems, education and senior care

By B.J. Reyes

File photo of Gov. Abercrombie

The Abercrombie administration, in its budget proposal to the state Legislature, is calling for $439 million in new spending in the next fiscal year, with an emphasis on early childhood education programs and upgrading the state’s antiquated computer systems.

Funding would also be increased for senior care programs and for dealing with the state’s long-term liabilities associated with employee and retiree health benefits. The budget also restores the 5 percent taken from public employee paychecks to help close the deficit.

As required by law, Abercrombie released his budget draft to the Legislature on Monday.

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Government Technology
December 11, 2012


According to the E-Government Satisfaction Index, conducted by consumer analytics firm ForeSee, three out of four citizens prefer to deal with their government online, as opposed to in person. Several federal agencies actually outrank well known private-sector e-retailers like Amazon on consumer satisfaction with online transactions. “By any measure, many government agencies are now outpacing their private-sector rivals, which is a development that very few thought likely,” the report concluded.

Those are the kinds of results Hawaii CIO Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia hopes to bring to the state by implementing his “online versus in line” vision for service delivery. Named the state’s first CIO in summer 2011, he brings a resumé that includes 14 years at Boeing, as well as key roles in the federal government, most recently leading e-government programs for the General Services Administration.

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KITV 4 News (ABC)
December 11, 2012

Summit used to discuss the future of Hawaii state government

HONOLULU —Nearly 700 state employees, community leaders and members of the public joined Gov. Neil Abercrombie Tuesday for the 2012 Hawaii Digital Government Summit at the Hilton Hawaiian Village to engage employees and other stakeholders in the state’s business and information technology transformation initiative.

Presented by Government Technology Executive Events and the Center for Digital Government, at no cost to the state, the event featured more than 20 sessions on topics ranging from modernization of public schools to health information technology.

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March 4, 2012

BY MEGAN ROLLAND mrolland@opubco.com

Oklahoma is undergoing a massive consolidation of the technology departments housed in almost 130 different state agencies. Two years into the project and more than $40 million has been saved and 130 positions reduced.

Oklahoma is consolidating the technology departments in 129 state agencies, and in the process officials have uncovered numerous inefficiencies that were wasting taxpayer money.

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Oklahoma state agencies currently pay $4.3 million a year to access the Internet through private fiber-optic cables, owned by companies such as Cox and AT&T, said Alex Pettit, the state’s chief information officer, who is overseeing the consolidation.

Meanwhile, Pettit said the state owns 940 miles of its own, underused, fiber-optic cables that those state agencies could be using for free.

“We’re paying everyone else for their own networks. That’s just nuts. That’s just flat nuts,” Pettit said. “Just optimizing what’s in the ground right now could save the state $23 million over five years. That’s the thing I find so frustrating.”

Pettit is on the front lines of efficiency for the state.

Two years into a plan approved by lawmakers to remove in-house technology departments from almost every state agency and put them under a statewide office, the state already has realized $40 million in savings and cut about 128 information technology positions through attrition.

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