ITD working on consolidation plans

Aug 6, 2018

North Dakota’s information technology department is continuing to work toward consolidation of IT services under one umbrella department.

State Chief Information Officer Shawn Riley calls it a work in progress. Riley said his agency is doing a “deep data collection” on IT – who in what state agency is working in IT, what they do and what systems they have.

"What we can show is a lot of redundancies in systems today," Riley said in an interview with Prairie Public. "We're doing the same work mulitple times. So we look at those redundancies, and say, 'How can we do this differently?'"

Riley said the data collection will show who is responsible for IT services in each department, and what systems they use.

"We have seven-plus systems for srevice management," Riley said. "That's the term 'help-desk.' There's no need to have seven systems for 17 agencies, when organizations that are 10 times our size can do it one way."

Riley said it’s all part of the concept of reinventing government – to make it more efficient.

"We can be more effective with the staff and more effective with the tools," Riley said. "It would cost less overall, and it would free some of the employees to get a whole lot more done in other areas."

ITD currently has 340 employees. Riley said there are another 200 or so people working in IT in other agencies. He said some, but probably not all, will transfer to ITD. And Riley said state agencies are asking a number of questions about this consolidation effort.

"We have a lot of good people who are trying to make sure we take care of the citizens -- their customers," Riley said. "They want to make sure of that."

Riley said he’s planning to have a proposal for the 2019 Legislature.

"Our projections are that within 4 years post-unification, we would be 15 to 22 percent more efficient with our dollars and resources," Riley said.