Read the full 2023 Annual Report here.
Government modernization is often elusive and progress is difficult to measure, especially since the finish line by definition keeps moving forward.
So often it is assumed that modernization is simply the implementation of an IT upgrade: install new software or new hardware and modernization instantly takes place. If modernization was that simple, we would have a modernized government in every state and the only barrier would be funding.
However, there are myriad components to modernization. As a partner to state government, THG does not shy away from tackling these complex challenges. We work alongside state leaders to ensure the state can experience success in its modernization initiatives.
THG focuses on sweeping, systemic business process transformation projects that include IT solutions to support the new processes that enhance efficiency and streamline operations to better serve citizens. These are not overnight fixes. These major projects take time to plan and are even more challenging to execute well.
The soft side of transformation, which includes organizational change management and communications, is critical. Overlooking these aspects of modernization results in investments that do not yield the return they are intended to accomplish. These projects are put on pause and leave many pondering what may have gone awry.
Learning from Past Projects
As with other states, Hawai‘i has had its share of failed modernization projects. The Enterprise Financial System is an example. The state first tried to modernize the EFS more than 10 years ago. The second attempt was made in 2022. Steeling itself with the support of THG, the state began its third attempt to modernize the critical EFS in 2023.
In 2023, THG dedicated significant time, expertise and resources to modernize the 55-year-old EFS legacy system. It was a pivotal year in government modernization for the State of Hawaii. With guidance from THG, there was a shared recognition of the need to pursue modernization more strategically to ensure progress.
Components that have been given cursory attention are now front and center. There is heightened awareness of the need for organizational change management and communications within state government. Communication based on organizational change management principles is now embedded in the EFS project.
THG plans to continue making EFS a top priority in 2024 because many other programs throughout our state government interface with this backbone system. Focusing on this will help to accelerate modernization and have a cascading effect throughout state government.
Mahalo nui loa,
Christine Maii Sakuda, Executive Director
To learn more about the partnerships and projects THG undertook in 2023, read the full 2023 Annual Report here.