April 17, 2009 By Robert Feingold
Illustration: Colorado CIO Mike Locatis
The Colorado Office of Information Technology (OIT) issued a request for information (RFI) April 13 that seeks to obtain ideas, methodologies and approaches from the private sector for incorporating the concepts of shared/common services into the state's IT consolidation program.
The RFI represents the start of a series of steps the state government is taking to solidify the achievements already gained from this program. Within the RFI are specific questions the state is asking respondents to answer. The state anticipates that private-sector IT vendors will share their approaches for incorporating shared/common services applications into an overall strategy for maximizing the benefits from the IT consolidation.
"We are hoping for a lot of participation from the private sector on this. RFI respondents are encouraged to give us their best shot at applying 21st century concepts of shared/common services to our current and planned situation," said Mike Locatis, the CIO of Colorado.
Like many other states, Colorado is working through budget shortfalls at all levels. Many of the state's public-sector entities (e.g., municipalities, counties, special districts, K-12 education, higher education, etc.) continue to face sacrifices in IT maintenance, replacement and enhancements for the duration of the current economic downturn. The RFI seeks information that will result in higher degrees of infrastructure sharing among and between public-sector entities. The question is: How to accomplish sharing in the current IT infrastructure environment, where these entities have a wide variety of IT solutions in various stages of their life cycle?
Through the RFI process, the Office of Information Technology is looking for ideas, techniques and technologies that will contribute to the solution of this problem.
In a related bipartisan effort, State Sen. Bill Cadman, R-Colorado Springs, introduced a bill into the Colorado General Assembly that will establish a Colorado Shared Services Authority. The objective is to establish a quasi-governmental authority capable of entering into public-private partnerships to provide shared/common IT services across all jurisdictional levels by maximizing aggregation and economies of scale.
For details on this RFI, go to Colorado's Web site: https://www.gssa.state.co.us/VenSols. The number of the RFI is RFI-TK-003-09.
Responses are due June 1.
Robert Feingold is a senior fellow of the Center for Digital Government.