Today’s blog was written by Hardik Bhatt (DoIT's Secretary Designate & Illinois State CIO) as a collaborative effort with input from Mike Wons (Chief Technology Officer), Marian Cook (Chief Strategy Officer), Kevin Harrison (Assistant Chief Data Officer) and Ramnath Cidambi (Managing Director, IT).
It is crucial for a digital transformation leader to have a clear vision and plan for the long term, and deliver positive action and quick wins in the short term. With today’s technology, parallel paths can be run very deliberately. In this post we’ll review the targeted actions and technology trends we leveraged to jump start and deliver quick, consistent wins.
- Stopping projects: In the first month (April 2015), we required business cases for all existing projects. As a result, we identified and stopped 14 projects immediately. This freed up key resources to work on higher priority projects.
- Starting ERP: The biggest feedback I received during my listening tour was that we did not have a functional way of managing our finance, HR, procurement and other basic operational functions. An ERP procurement effort was 90% completed by the previous administration. We reviewed it, agreed with their recommendations, and took quick action to complete negotiations, establish contracts and kick off a statewide ERP project in July 2015. Phase 1 of the unified financial system went live on October 1st, 2016.
- Accelerating Mobility: One of our key strategies is to provide mobile enabled tools to our field workforce and increase the ability of all to interact with state government through their mobile devices (phones, tablets, watches, wearables, etc.). Starting from the single digits, our goal is to web enable 80%+ of citizen interactions over the next 18 months. Key strategies are:
- Establish a common mobile stack for use across the state: done.
- Move all web content and sites to be mobile responsive: 74% of 16,000+ pages complete.
- Integrate web and social media to improve “trusted” information sharing: completed for 60+ agencies, boards, authorities and commissions.
- Launch a mobile app a month: to date we have overachieved that goal with 25+ apps launched including:
- bringing 1.1 million business licenses regulated by Department of Financial and Professional Regulations on to mobile devices
- temporary and day labor agencies now work online and on their mobile devices to get licensed by Department of Labor
- mobile app from the Department of Employment Security helping students and citizens understand the cost of living in areas across Illinois
- winter road conditions app from Illinois Department of Transportation
- Establish one central entry point for all mobile access to Illinois services: IllinoisFIRST mobile app is available for free download and usage via the Android and iOS.
- Launching Cloud: Going to the cloud is part of our quick win strategy. By adopting cloud computing, the State can more easily exploit and share commodity products and services, while enabling new innovative solutions to be developed and deployed more quickly.
Properly governed and more secure, this enables the move from high cost, customized applications and solutions to lower cost, standard, interchangeable services where quality and cost are driven by the market. It means changing the culture of government to adopt and adapt to the solutions the market provides, instead of creating unnecessary, customized siloed approaches.
At the end of September, we moved 4% of our workload on the cloud and will be 10+% at the end of December. This increase is based on the following progress during the current 75-day sprint:
- Office 365 usage ramping up quickly
- Phase 1 of ERP financials with SAP Hana Enterprise Cloud live on a private cloud infrastructure
- Mobile apps and web solutions are live for major agencies, including Transportation and Public Safety
- The usage of Offender360 continues to expand across our Corrections agency.
A vision becomes believable, and therefore achievable, with a cadence of quick wins. This strategy requires bias for decisive action, and the ability to execute in the short term while keeping focus on building a digital organization in the long term. A leadership team with this ability can build credibility and support for the arduous, perilous and ultimately rewarding transformation journey.