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Colorado Moves Forward with Centralization

Despite abundant publicity on the number of failed IT projects, Colorado's new administration has stepped in as stewards of technology with goals to revamp support for innovative IT projects and avoid previous IT redundancies and inefficiencies and will hit a new milestone on July 1, 2008 when Governor Ritter's IT Consolidation Act becomes effective.

Consolidating Colorado's IT operations became Gov. Ritter's number one priority as he came into office in 2007. Determined to avoid costly IT projects supported by previous administrations, the administration dedicated resources to planning a good change in management plan. Governor Ritter announced Colorado's IT consolidation plan, issued an interim Executive Order appointing a Chief Information Officer to an elevated cabinet-level position addressing oversight over procurement and created an Innovation council advancing the state's technology sector. On May 22, 2008, following bipartisan support by the state legislature, Gov. Ritter signed into law Colorado's IT Consolidation Act enacting all of the Governor's reforms.

According to Gov. Ritter's bill ceremony press release, the state currently has "39 separate data centers and more than 1,600 servers." The legislation would streamline, consolidate and centralize the state's fragmented IT operations. Effective July 1, agency CIOs and IT workers will report to OIT.

As a featured guest speaker for NASCIO's Corporate Leadership Council, Michael Locatis, urged vested vendors wanting to partner with the state, pertaining to the consolidation initiative, to do so early as Colorado prepares to move forward restructuring its IT infrastructure. Vendors were also encouraged to review thoroughly the state's IT consolidation plan, key IT initiatives by the administration and to initiate relationships with the state Chief Enterprise Architect. Some of the contracting opportunities to take advantage of include data center consolidation, centralization of services, operations, resources and infrastructure. In addition, partnering with key players in the state that already have strong contracting relationships promises to be critical in winning opportunities with the state.

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