The Office of Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) sprang into existence this year when Governor David Ige enacted legislation that combined the Office of Information Management and Technology (OIMT) and the Information and Communication Services Division (ICSD) of the Department of Accounting and General Services to create ETS.
Even before the legislature and the governor formalized the new agency, the two programs proactively began operating collaboratively in October 2015, under the leadership of the state Chief Information Officer Todd Nacapuy.
Since that time, state’s departments and agencies have been busy upgrading their business practices and IT infrastructure. The following three initiatives demonstrate the type of activity now taking place.
Migration to Office 365
Until this year, departments were operating in silos and because of the hodgepodge of platforms and systems being used, their systems were poorly integrated. The agency, while still operating as OIMT, took the initiative to accelerate the move of most of the state departments to Office 365. The scope of the activation included adding 12,394 Office 365 licenses and moving 11,576 mailboxes. Besides the benefit of having executive branch departments on a single communication platform, state agencies now enjoy a range of benefits, including fortified security, greater disaster recovery capability, expanded applications and services, added tools for collaboration, online accessibility, and long-term budget sustainability through shared services purchasing.
Data Center Partnership with UH
Through an agreement with the University of Hawaii IT Center, many of the IT systems currently housed at that state’s primary downtown data center are being moved to the UH IT Center. The move will reduce cybersecurity risks to state IT systems, while saving taxpayer dollars. In addition to providing backup for state systems for the first time, using the UH data center avoids the considerable costs associated with designing, building, maintaining, powering and staffing an entirely new data center.
Better Management of IT Funds
ETS has initiated a governance process to manage state department IT programs and projects using a best-practices approach. The newly implemented governance requirements include a comprehensive planning, review and approval process to ensure funding for IT development and modernization programs is used prudently. All budget requests and strategic plans must be reviewed and approved by the state CIO and ETS before they are submitted. Additionally, departments and agencies are now required to plan their budgets with departmental and state multi-year IT plans and roadmaps in mind. These requirements make certain the intended objectives are achieved and a positive return on investment is realized.