On his arrival as CIO of the state of Oklahoma two years ago, Pettit was charged by the state to decrease IT spending by 15 percent. When it became apparent the original plan could not meet the target date, Oklahoma’s June, 2011 Information Technology Consolidation and Coordination Act rolled up all 72 data centers, 356 networks, 129 email servers and 30,000 end points directly to Pettit's office.

“We’ve gone from 1190 positions in 2009 to 1062 as of July 2011," Pettit says. "By the end of this fiscal year in July of this year I expect IT costs to be lower by 17 to 20 percent.”

Consolidation goes either agency by agency or service by service. In the first case, an example is the state department of communication, which is being normalized into buckets of unique custom services, shared services for multiple agencies and commodity, statewide services like dial tone. The approach is also touching the department of education, libraries and community colleges.

The other approach is service by service. “The state has seven mainframes,” Pettit says, “and all our mainframe services can operate on one mainframe platform.”

The state had been spending more than $1 million dollars a year on virus and spam filtering and encryption. Bid out for all 30,000 end points, the cost fell to a bit more than $180,000. “That’s $900,000 the state will not spend this year in end point encryption, virus protection and spam filtering,” Pettit says.

Quotable: “Look at how Steve Jobs was successful. He knew the big objective and could drive down to the atomic. Working with a team, it’s essential to clearly articulate clearly the larger objectives but also the linkages in the smaller context, in the cluster CIOs and connecting to the overall context of what the leadership team is trying to accomplish.” 

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