New State department moves forward in push to consolidate in-house IT functions

The Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology, created by Bruce Rauner executive order in January 2016, has been asked to consolidate the information technology (IT) functions performed by a wide variety of State agencies and departments. In a joint appearance on Wednesday, March 30, the Governor asked several of his department heads and senior staff to explain to the public what they are doing to increase the IT productivity of their departments.

Historically, almost every agency had their own IT staff and in-house technology standards. In many cases, this led to the selection of incompatible software platforms; in some cases, some State agencies are still using repeatedly-updated platforms that have roots in code written as far back as the 1970s. In some cases, these platforms continue to require the same data points to be added repeatedly to redundant databases, or require the use of obsolescent or obsolete technologies such as computer tapes. Individual agency IT staff members are now moving into the new Department, where they will have the chance to work together. Consultants have told the Rauner administration and the General Assembly that, over time, the rationalization of IT technology will lead to growing productivity benefits for the State of Illinois and its taxpayers.