FAQ (Overall Questions)

FAQ Index

    Questings

    What is DoIT?

    The Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology is a new state agency with responsibility for the information technology functions of agencies under the jurisdiction of the Governor.

    DoIT’s empowerrs Illinois through high-value, customer-centric technology by delivering best-in-class innovation to client agencies fostering collaboration and empowering employees to provide better services to residents, businesses and visitors.

    What is Information Technology?

    For the purposes of the IT Transformation program, “Information technology” means technology, infrastructure, equipment, systems, software, networks, and processes used to create, send, receive, and store electronic or digital information, including without limitation both computer systems and telecommunication systems. The term “information technology” is used broadly to incorporate future technologies (such as sensors) that change or supplant those in effect as of the effective date of the Executive Order, which you can read fully here.

    What is a Client agency?

    Per the Executive Order, a Client agency refers to “each transferring agency or its successor and each other public agency to which DoIT provides service.”

    Largely, this term refers to the agencies that currently host State employees who serve in an IT function.

    Where can we find the updated information on this IT Transformation and the new Agency DoIT?

    For the latest information on IT Transformation please check cio.illinois.gov/IT Transformation. This home page will be updated on a frequent basis.

    If you have remaining questions, please send a message to IT.Transformation@Illinois.gov

    What agencies are impacted by this IT Transformation?

    Initially, DoIT will focus on continuing to provide IT services to agencies under the jurisdiction of the Governor. DoIT will be available to supporting any agency, board or commission that chooses to receive services from DoIT.

    What is the timeline for all of these IT Transformation changes?

    On July 1, 2016 all identified IT employees will become part of the new DoIT organization. Initially, very little will change. However, over the next 18 months a series of organizational changes will be rolled out to support the new collaborative IT approach. DoIT anticipates it taking several years to fully transition into a final operational structure.

    Throughout this period of transformation, the State’s labor relations team will be in contact with the appropriate union representatives for any affected employees to ensure compliance with all timelines imposed by collective bargaining agreements or labor law.

    In what building(s) will the HR, executive employees, etc. be located?

    DoIT will be headquartered at 120 W. Jefferson, the former BCCS building, and in Chicago on the 4th floor of the JRTC.

    It seems like the key players in the upper management structure of DoIT are the same people in the upper management structure of CMS BCCS, how is DoIT going to avoid the same pitfalls that happened with the last consolidation if they have the same people in upper management.

    DoIT's top leadership has studied past consolidation efforts and is committed to launching and building DoIT through inclusion, collaboration and transparency with the State's IT community. The leadership team will be a combination of existing business leaders and new professionals.

    There will be opportunities for new people to join the DoIT leadership team and for employees at all levels to provide input and serve on the active working groups that will develop key IT plans and processes. IT Transformation will be a 3 year journey. We invite you to help us strengthen the culture and IT service delivery at DoIT.

    How will this IT Transformation affect budgets?

    In the immediate term, Client agencies will retain the budget for IT services and assets. The IT Transformation program will continue to work on funding models into FY17

    Can this effort be accomplished through the Department of Central Management Services (CMS)? Why is a stand-alone IT agency necessary?

    First, information technology is a business-enabler. The State needs to be nimble and flexible in order to meet agency needs of providing better customer service and to keep up with rapid technological changes. A single unified agency would allow the State the necessary flexibility to provide quick, time-to-market, enhanced service delivery.

    Second, information technology is too critical to the State, and it needs undivided attention for modernization. The IT headcount among affected agencies is larger than the rest of CMS’s headcount for all other functions. Consolidation through CMS would materially alter CMS’s portfolio of responsibilities at a time when CMS is working on other needed administrative reforms.

    Third, CMS continues to focus on those other reforms, such as property management and procurement reform. Each of those areas is a significant undertaking.

    Finally, CMS previously attempted to consolidate IT services following the 2003 legislation while also managing multiple other responsibilities. Agencies need IT-specific leadership and a new approach to service delivery and chargebacks, which are better accomplished through an IT-specific agency.

    How will this effort succeed if the 2003 effort did not?

    The IT Leadership, Independent of CMS: The 2003 effort was led by CMS, which as noted above is responsible for many other administrative functions. The 2016 effort is being led by a technology team with a history of successfully integrating complex IT systems in the public and private sectors, including at the City of Chicago.

    • Full (Not Partial) Consolidation: The 2003 effort consolidated IT functions at only 26 agencies, and focused only on hardware and network services. Consequently, most IT personnel, applications, and data continue to be managed by agencies. The 2016 effort will consolidate all functions (infrastructure, systems, applications, data, and personnel) at all agencies under the Governor’s jurisdiction.
    • Focus on Modernization: In addition to driving efficiency, the 2016 effort is focused on modernizing systems and service delivery, in order to demonstrate value to agencies, State employees, taxpayers, residents, businesses, and consumers of State services.
    • Service, Transparency, and Accountability: The DoIT leadership team is committed to partnering with agencies to establish technology priorities, to provide agencies with transparency in cost accounting, and to hold itself accountable for service delivery.
    • Fair Chargebacks: Some agencies and other stakeholders believe CMS overcharged for services following the 2003 consolidation. DoIT will avoid “double-billing” by clearly delineating recoverable and non-recoverable costs and by providing greater input and transparency to agencies. DoIT will also work to drive down costs through enterprise systems and pass those savings on to client agencies.

     

    Will the Department of Innovation and Technology be subject to legislative oversight?

    Yes. For example:

    • The Secretary will be subject to Senate confirmation.
    • The Department budget will be subject to appropriation each year.
    • The Department will submit a report to the General Assembly by 12/31/2016, and each year for three additional years, on the status of the transformation.

     

    How does DoIT plan to acquire new, skilled employees and also build/retain current talent?

    We are positioning DoIT as an exciting workplace for IT professionals interested in public service. DoIT will offer training paths, career progression and opportunities to work on innovative projects. All DoIT employees, tenured and new, should benefit from this new environment and commitment to employee development.

    Will existing servers be removed from the independent agencies and moved to a centralized location?

    One of the goals is to consolidate servers that are operating in agencies into the central data center. The reason is to provide more consistent power, heating and cooling as well as take advantage of monitoring provided in the central data center location. This project will evaluate servers on a case by case basis to determine the requirements to move the server to minimize unplanned downtime.

    With the transition into a single entity, will DoIT have a standardized software development methodology (IE Scrum, Scaled Agile)? If so, what will it be? Are there any recommendations or guidelines written yet as to how we can start preparing and using it now?

    Yes, the creation of DoIT signals a move to more standard tools and processes. We anticipate that the standard setting process will take place over the course of the next year. Development methods will be one of our earliest areas of focus. We will share software development guidelines as soon as they are available. Please email the it.transformation@illinois.gov mailbox if you'd like to get involved in standard setting processes.

    With the federal government starting to move to open source software with initiatives like Federal Source Code Policy (https://sourcecode.cio.gov/SourceCodePolicy.pdf) and organizations like 18f that are already open source (https://18f.gsa.gov/ https://github.com/18F), does DoIT have any plans to open source any of the software we create by publishing it to a site like GitHub?

    The move to open source software is not specifically in scope for the IT Transformation program and was not an area of focus for recommendations. That said, consideration of this kind of idea will be part of the Enterprise and Application Architecture conversation that will be an outcome of IT Transformation initiatives.

    What’s the plan to maintain and support current applications?

    We understand that supporting the current application environment is paramount to success. The IT Transformation team is conducting detailed data gathering and evaluation of the application suite to understand what the current application environment looks like. The plan is to continue supporting applications with the same level of support as today. Careful planning will take place to make certain end-users get the service levels they expect from the application support teams. In addition, the data we are gathering will help to provide a better understanding of our environment. We are looking for opportunities to build capabilities that can be shared across agencies or to fill gaps in capabilities with new applications.

    What about out-of-the-mainstream applications and/or systems (Lotus Notes, Midrange, other non-Windows)? What is the commitment to keep them and not force a migration?

    Each system will be evaluated to determine if it makes sense to migrate and, where feasible, systems will be moved as part of a coordinated effort with the agencies. The goal is to not remove capabilities, but enhance capabilities provided to agencies. As part of the process for evaluating enhancements, we will also identify opportunities to re-platform systems that are no longer supported by vendors or bring systems up to standards will be assessed.

    How will agency priorities be met in the new Department of Innovation and Technology?

    As part of IT Transformation the state is also implementing a new governance model that will help build shared IT priorities and enable better collaboration across agencies and between agencies and DoIT, this model will allow agency priorities to be supported while also helping to identify when resources can be shared. Client agencies will be well represented in the governance process and will have a voice in how priorities are established.

    How will workloads be balanced and distributed across merged organizations?

    Workload balancing is one of the main benefits of IT Transformation. At first, workload balancing will be handled on a case by case basis. For example, one Client agency may need resources and another Client agency may have available resources with the skills to support that agency. Over time, and as resources gain experience the opportunity for more workload balancing will occur.