- Streamlining and improving current business processes and applications to directly benefit the public.
- Leveraging the state’s investment in shared support services and technology infrastructure.
- Establishing a strong organization-wide management and oversight framework, including policies, processes, performance measures, program management and organizational change management.
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) - Hawaii is moving forward with implementation of an enterprise-wide ERP system that will replace the large majority of the current central systems within the Enterprise Support Services band.
- Tax Modernization - This involves a strategic initiative to explore ways to streamline and modernize tax processing away from the current Integrated Tax Information Management System (ITIMS). It will expand the overall use of electronic tax filing, electronic payment, improved analytics, and improved case management processing to streamline and decrease cycle times for the citizens of the state.
- Health IT - Envisioning a more effective, efficient, patient-focused healthcare system, Hawaii’s Transformation Plan includes a four-point strategy of innovations for Delivery System Improvements, Payment Reforms, Health IT and Healthcare Purchasing. Hawaii is seeking systemic improvements in public health through measuring health status, performing assessments, and the tracking of preventions, promotion, and outcomes. The State will look to use Electronic Health Records and a secure exchange of information to improve care coordination, reduce duplication and waste, empower patient engagement in their health, and enable public health analytics to shape policy decisions that will improve the overall health system.
- OneNet/Enterprise Services Network - A single network, OneNet, will look to fulfill the network needs of all state departments and employees and citizens with guaranteed performance levels.
- Adaptive Computing Environment (ACE) - Establishes a consistent configuration for computing devices across the State using pre-approved vendors. State employees can order standard systems that are engineered to operate most efficiently in the OneNet environment. Choices are provided based on job classification for mobile/tablet solutions, laptop/desktop, or a strictly virtual environment for certain work. These systems require fewer support resources than non-standard configurations, enhance overall support effectiveness, and reduce total cost of ownership.
- Shared Services Center - For the future State vision, the goal will be to have five fully meshed functional shared services centers (SSC) distributed across the islands to provide high availability, redundancy, fault tolerance, data backup and replication, disaster recovery, and always-on services to Hawaii. Connections between shared services centers will be provided with dedicated high-speed fiber optic lines with service providers and State wireless connections acting as redundant and backup links respectively.
- Information Assurance & Privacy - Hawaii has a fully integrated Security Operations Center (SOC) and Computer Security Incident Response Centerv (CSIRC) to: provide uninterrupted security services while improving security incident response times; reduce security threats to the State; and enable quicker, well-coordinated notification to all State Departments regarding security threats or issues.
- Mobile Computing – Hawaii is aiming to establish a standard mobile applications solution pattern and approach with standard methods, skill development, contractor resources, and tools/technologies in conjunction with the adoption of preferred smartphones and tablets. Since mobile application development has a very small footprint in the State at this time, this initiative will need to analyze, pilot, and invest/implement in a standard approach, capabilities, and tools for developing mobile applications.
- E-Mail, Collaboration and Geospatial – This effort is looking to provide several integrated services in a single environment, including integrated multi-media online communications services; collaboration and conferencing services, and multimedia content and information services.
- Open Government – Seeks to establish a State of Hawaii data.gov internal and public-facing website to facilitate the sharing of master data sets.
- Hawaii Broadband - Hawaii currently has many broadband projects underway as part of the Hawaii Broadband Initiative (HBI) with departmental participation that highlights the importance of the program. An assessment of the current program illuminates the fact that there must be strong unification of these disparate efforts within an established, disciplined program management framework with continual progress reports.
- Pharmacy Benefit Management Services and Fiscal Agent Services In Support of Pharmacy Claims Processing; Value: >$30 million; Primary Requirement: IT Professional Services; Award Date: February 2013.
- Statewide Telecommunications Equipment; Value: >$30 million; Primary Requirement: LAN/WAN Equipment; Award Date: January 2014.
- Hawaii Broadband Initiative; Value: >$30 million; Primary Requirement: Fiber Optic Materials & Components; Award Date: June 2013.
- Health Insurance Exchange Services; Value: <$30 million; Primary Requirement: Information Technology; Award Date: November 2012.
- Third Party Administrator (TPA); Value: <$30 million; Primary Requirement: Information Technology; Award Date: July 2013.
Continuing from my previous blog on Government 2.0’s effect on the traditional IT procurement process, I wanted to take a look at trends in government’s approach to acquiring Gov 2.0 technology. Part 1 of this blog series highlighted how small Gov 2.0 IT firms have begun to use non-traditional purchasing options to circumvent the traditional procurement process. Gov 2.0 firms are trying to avoid the procurement process because it has historically been more difficult for small IT firms to compete in the government IT market. However, today’s trends in IT procurement hint that times are changing. Since governments continue to face shrinking IT budgets against expanding IT costs and needs, they are now looking for alternative ways to do business as well. For many IT bureaucrats and contracting officers interested in Gov 2.0 technology, that means looking outside of the conventional procurement process, and toward smaller IT firms.
Code for America (CFA), an example of Gov 2.0 realized, is an organization that describes itself as “Peace Corps for geeks.” Established in 2009, CFA assigns programmers on year-long fellowships to work with local governments on in-house IT projects, to provide faster and more affordable alternatives to procuring vendor services and solutions. CFA noticed that new IT products, which it calls “civic startups,” were often created once the fellows had completed their assignments – essentially spawning new businesses. However, these civic startups that had created products for governments were having trouble selling their products. Finding the government procurement process difficult to navigate, many fizzled.
In response to this issue, CFA is setting up its first civic incubator, where a handful of IT entrepreneurs will participate in a five to six-month-long program that will provide funding and mentoring, while bringing their applications and solutions directly to local governments and school districts. This incubator is something CFA’s leadership hopes will turn the traditional procurement process on its head.
Another noticeable trend on the rise is localities across the country sponsoring crowdsourcing events and hackathon competitions as an alternative approach to the traditional solicitation processes for Web development solutions and services. In 2010, after working with CFA, the city of Boston took a one-day hackathon event to the next level by creating a permanent office within local government. The New Urban Mechanics Office was created to hire full-time programmers for in-house IT development projects as well as to conduct outreach to encourage, field, and partner with small IT entrepreneurs.
In another CFA spinoff, White House Chief Technology Officer Todd Park created the Presidential Innovation Fellows (PIF) program to pair “top innovators from the private sector, non-profits, and academia with top innovators in government to collaborate on solutions” using technology. On August 23, 18 innovators from outside of government were selected to work on one of five projects over the course of six months. The PIF program’s goal is to synthesize open data, expand e-government services, and simplify the RFP process by “building a platform that makes it easier for small high-growth businesses to navigate the federal government, and enable agencies to quickly source low-cost, high-impact information technology solutions.”
One of the five projects, RFP-EZ, was born after Sean Green, head of the Small Business Administration’s Investment and Innovation Program, remembered an instance with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The department had a need for an IT project, but the project’s estimated cost was $5 million to implement by a traditional IT vendor. After some research and outreach, HHS partnered with smaller IT companies that were able to complete the project for just more than $400,000.
During the PIF announcement, Green gave an open call to developers, contracting officers, and small Web development firms to join the effort and participate through Github.com, which is an open platform where RFP-EZ will be demoed. If successful, many state and local level governments will likely partner with or imitate the RFP-EZ project. Park took to Twitter after the announcement to confirm that the PIF will also be working with both state and local governments, in addition to the federal government, to create these IT solutions.
At all levels of government, innovation and affordability have been contradictory terms. The Code for America debunked the idea that quality Gov 2.0 solutions and services had to come at a premium. CFA seems to have been the catalyst for the future direction of Gov 2.0. Governments willing to take the early leap by circumventing their IT procurement process and engaging with innovators directly can expect some growing pains, but they will likely be dulled by ultimate cost savings.
The traditional format of government procurement has been grounded in the 1950’s-style door-to-door salesman. Governments release a solicitation and wait for the salesman to ring their door bell to peddle goods. Now, government agencies with strict budgets have the option to shop around without going through a lengthy and expensive procurement process. Governments want convenience and efficiency without having to sacrifice quality and they are willing to go outside the traditional procurement process to get it.
- Vermont released a request for information (RFI) for health benefit exchange premium bill processing. Among a myriad of services, the state is particularly interested in collecting information related to premium billing, payment collection and payment reconciliation.
- Nevada, which was awarded approximately $50 million in Level II grant funding, issued a request for proposals (RFP) for consulting services related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Nevada’s Board of Examiners approved the state’s HIX, which will be implemented by Xerox through an approximately $72 million contract, on August 14, 2012.
- California awarded its HIX project management and technical supporting services contract to First Data Government Solutions.
- Colorado’s HIX board was given approval to apply for $43 million in federal grant funding to build its HIX infrastructure. CGI was awarded an HIX services and technology solution contract earlier this summer.
- Hawaii plans to use the $62.8 million grant funding it received to contract for the design and development of the IT infrastructure and user experience for individuals and small businesses.
- The South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) moved forward with its Dual Eligible Demonstration Project (SC DuE) with the release of an RFI to collect information from coordinated and integrated care organizations (CICOs).
- SCDHHS issued a statement of no award for its replacement MMIS procurement, initially released in December 2011. The statement proclaimed:
- The Alabama Medicaid Agency (AMA) released an RFI for health care consultative services to assist in the evaluation of the existing Medicaid program and to make recommendations regarding the option to expand Medicaid eligibility as a result of the ACA.
- The Utah Department of Health issued an award to CNSI for its Medicaid management information system (MMIS) contract.
Over the years, the emergence of Gov 2.0 has been theorized by IT bureaucrats, vendors, and techies alike. While Web and mobile-based technology has impacted our everyday lives as consumers, it has been slow to take on our lives as constituents, taxpayers and citizens. Instead, government has been using private sector-focused apps and solutions such as Twitter and YouTube for public sector needs.
Even as larger vendors expand their scope of products and services to try and meet Gov 2.0 needs, government entities are hesitant to procure these big-dollar solutions. State and Local governments lack assurance due in large part to limited funds, governance, and market knowledge. So, while big vendors have been cutting back on state and local government business, smaller Gov 2.0 start-ups have been steadily luring in business by offering services and solutions for low or no upfront cost by using a modular plug-and-play format. These affordable and easy-to-implement Web applications are a stark change from enterprise solutions and services offered by the standard IT systems integrator. Now that Gov 2.0 is growing in popularity, the next question centers on how it will change the state and local IT market and procurement process.
Soon after civic-minded programmers formed Gov 2.0 start-ups, it was clear that their business model was adversely fit for the traditional IT procurement process. The Gov 2.0 market has rapidly become a grassroots movement disproportionately occupied by tech savvy community advocates, who have bucked the rules of procurement by offering their products and services at a fraction of what conventional government contracts would cost to implement.
The fact is that government IT spending is on the rise. On a whole, an estimated $140 billion a year is spent on IT needs, and that amount is expected to increase to $174 billion by 2014. State and local governments, which are running out of creative ways to cut their budget, are all too willing to look at low-cost alternatives to replace antiquated systems and satisfy their growing IT needs.
Two prominent examples of Gov 2.0 firms include Granicus, Inc., which provides cloud-based transparency solutions, and SeeClickFix, which uses mobile and Web-based technology as a management tool for government 311 systems. Both firms start their pricing for services at a mere $300 a month. Lesser known Gov 2.0 firms are willing to circumvent the procurement process altogether by offering their products or services at no cost, with the hopes of building a relationship for a potential sale down the road. Still, there are some philanthropic programmers who give away their apps in exchange for bragging rights.
Though many Gov 2.0 apps are based on citizen interaction, apps are not limited to 311-type services. Many innovative programmers have created standalone records management, content management, human resource management, and even data integration apps using open data specifically for internal government use. As this subset of government IT continues to evolve, these Gov 2.0 firms will gain technical growth and market knowledge, and those standalone apps could easily integrate into more robust mainstream applications before Gov 3.0 rolls around.
The main take away is that the presence of these grassroots-minded IT firms is growing. They are being led by skillful, agile, humanitarian-minded innovators who are looking to improve government by sharing pioneering solutions. They lure IT decision-makers by offering beta or free versions upfront, which creates a warm environment to foster a full procurement later on.
If this emerging procurement format proves to be advantageous for state and local governments, it could become the new standard. So, how does a traditional IT firm compete with free IT solutions from these emerging Gov 2.0 firms? The answer is simple: adapt. By blending Gov 2.0’s creative purchasing options such as free trials offers, tiered service subscriptions, and modular solutions, alongside years of experience and quality services and products, a traditional IT firm is easily given the advantage.
Part 2 of this blog series will take a look at how state and local governments have adopted Gov 2.0 by bypassing their own IT procurement processes. In the meantime, be sure to follow Deltek's General Government Team on Twitter @GovWin_GenGov
Lastly, check out this article in Deltek State and Local Analyst Perspective.
Florida’s Department of Children and Families (DCF) is in the midst of a procurement to replace its Florida Online Recipient Integrated Data Access system (FLORIDA), a 20-year-old legacy mainframe that provides core functionality for DCF’s public assistance eligibility system, the Automated Community Connection to Economic Self Sufficiency (ACCESS) Florida system.
With multiple upgrades performed in the past to improve the functionality of FLORIDA, DCF determined that the existing mainframe architecture was no longer adequate to serve the needs of the overall ACCESS Florida system and that a replacement was the most viable option. The new FLORIDA system will be based on Medicaid Information Technology Architecture (MITA) 2.0 standards and will meet federal standards for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Enhanced Funding Requirements: Seven Conditions and Standards, as well as enable system access through mobile technologies for both internal and external users. Meeting CMS’ Seven Conditions and Standards is required for Florida’s human services programs to piggyback on limited-time enhanced 90/10 federal funding for updating state IT systems, available until December 31, 2015 through the A-87 Cost Allocation Waiver.