Ryan Petersen is Editor in Chief of StateTech.

Putting the R in ROI

The mandate for IT these days is to do much more with much less. Everyone's continuously seeking cost savings or productivity enhancements. To accomplish that, state and local governments are pursuing IT projects that promise either a quick payoff or ongoing long-term dividends. Witness the popularity of server virtualization and power management.

In Castle Rock, Colo., IT Operations Manager Travis Brower replaced several small uninterruptible power supply systems with one large, high-end Tripp Lite UPS device to protect the town from power fluctuations and outages. The benefits include energy savings and easier management. Combine the power and cooling gear with server virtualization, and the results are impressive.

"In the past, it would take two weeks to order new hardware, have it delivered and get it installed from scratch," says Slade Walter, Castle Rock's senior desktop technician. "Now you can get a new server up and running within an hour."

Other projects winning approval from state and local government include consolidation of all shapes and sizes, sharing fiber and deploying business intelligence tools. Learn more about these implementations in "Smart Spending".

Making Lemonade

IT managers prove their mettle every day running their state or local government operations. But even the best planning can't fully prepare them for the occasional IT nightmare that sends shivers down their spines.

Consider all of the things that could go wrong: A pipe bursts and floods the data center, WAN traffic grinds to a halt, a lost notebook exposes thousands of citizens' Social Security numbers, the latest virus takes out a server, or a storage failure stops citizens from renewing their driver's licenses or making tax payments for several days.

But a bad situation may offer the opportunity for IT to not only fix the problem, but also better position the organization for the future. That's what Matt Ceniceros did after arriving on the job as IT coordinator of Grand County, Utah. The network he inherited was falling apart, and there was no strategic IT plan -- in fact, not much in the way of plans of any kind.

"You've got to wear a lot of hats to overcome a tough situation like this," Ceniceros says. He relied on his technical knowledge, business acumen and communication skills to deploy a standardized IT environment and enact proper policies and procedures. For more details about Grand County and how other localities have overcome their IT obstacles, turn to "Wake Up from Your IT Nightmares".

Whether you're trying to save your organization money or save the day with disaster recovery and security solutions, remember that your best technology investments are those that prove their worth.


Ryan Petersen, Editor in Chief

Matthew Gilson
Sep 22 2010