Healthcare Technology Featured Article

September 26, 2013

IT Consolidation Too Costly for Oklahoma's Board of Nursing

The state of Oklahoma is underway to implement a statewide consolidation of information technology services for all of the agencies in the state. The goal of this initiative is to provide Oklahomans a more effective government while saving the state badly needed funds. However, the Oklahoma Board of Nursing (BoN), which was established to safeguard the public health and welfare of the residents of Oklahoma, has been experiencing security breaches, inferior service, and loss of revenues according to a state audit.

Computer support services in Oklahoma were disorganized and dispersed amongst the many agencies in the state. By consolidating IT services in the state Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES), State officials hoped to improve the efficiency of the state. The IT consolidation has so far saved around $42 million a year for close to 50 of the 132 agencies. But this has not been the case for the BoN.`

The BoN spent $232,569 in Fiscal Year 2013 compared to $204,396 in 2011, before the consolidation, a 14 percent increase. OMES workers also breached security by granting employees unapproved access to files.

The OMES manages and supports basic functioning of the government of Oklahoma. It provides financial, property, purchasing, human resources, and information technology services to 132 of the state's agencies.

The state is developing the mainframe target architecture with a high-level roadmap that will provide a comprehensive analysis of the IT infrastructure. This will eventually lead to consolidate the mainframe computing capacity with storage, network, and backup capabilities. The state has partnered with IBM to complete the consolidation of all the agencies.

The mainframe project's goal is to retain the intellectual capital of the state by sustaining a technology environment capable of supporting the business needs while reducing the cost of ownership for mainframe technology and support. The equipment will be housed in the only tier 3 data center in Oklahoma, giving the agencies post consolidation optimization and future cost reduction opportunities.

"Our objective examination suggests that if OMES ISD was a private vendor, the substandard service level provided to OBN quite possibly would result in termination of the IT service agreement. If the Board and agency management opt to continue the agreement, the responsibility to correct service quality deficiencies clearly rests with OMES ISD," said Gary A. Jones, Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector.

Edited by Ryan Sartor
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