The Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford. 

Apr 26 2021

Connecticut Moves to Consolidate and Modernize IT Operations

The Nutmeg State, which hopes to stand up a new centralized agency by the spring of 2022, wants to streamline how government technology operates.

Following in the footsteps of other states, such as Kansas and Illinois, that have moved to consolidate state IT operations in recent years, Connecticut is aiming to create a centralized state IT agency within a year’s time.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont announced the plan in mid-March, and the state argues the new setup will allow Connecticut to use more modern technology, create efficiencies and improve cybersecurity, among other benefits.

“The process will bring best practices to all state agencies, provide flexibility in the cross-training of employees, and ensure there is a pool of specialized experts at the ready to serve state agencies, rather than requiring a dedicated, smaller group of IT staff to individual agencies,” the state noted in a press release.

The Benefits of IT Consolidation for Connecticut

“From day one, our administration promised to streamline government services and make interacting with the residents of Connecticut much easier,” Lamont said in the release. “Our state employees have accomplished amazing things with technology throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and this optimization process provides the resources and support to continue our progress.”

According to the release, the state sees several key benefits to the consolidation process, including the ability to deploy more modern IT and update it more sustainably. The shift will also help the state meet the public’s demand for digital government solutions that are more up to date and convenient for citizens.

The state will also move to common platforms across agencies. That streamlining is expected to enhance cybersecurity for Connecticut, with government workers using common tools. With users working on fewer and more secure platforms, threats can be mitigated, the state argues.

Connecticut also sees the new organization providing more opportunities for professional development for state employees, especially in terms of training, cross-training and collaboration on new projects. The new IT agency will also enable the state “to identify gaps in services more quickly, understand what hires need to be made, and what advancements are possible within the current infrastructure,” the release states.

Lora Rae Anderson, the Department of Administrative Service’s communications director, tells StateScoop that Connecticut has about 40 statewide agencies. The smallest agencies in government have fewer than 200 employees and often do not have enough in-house IT staff.

“The bottom line for us is we’re always being as efficient as possible in state government,” she says. The new IT agency will employ about 600 people once the consolidation is complete, according to Anderson.

“Technology is improving at a faster rate every day, and we need to make sure we have the most flexible and responsive IT organization possible in state government,” Connecticut CIO Mark Raymond said in the release. “Our state agencies have incredibly talented IT staff, and under this new model we will be able to share that talent across state agencies and ensure they have access to deploy more skilled people all at the same time. I look forward to moving this project forward, and working closely with more of our state employees.”

Raymond tells StateScoop that the changes are being driven by the rapid pace of technology evolution. Additionally, he says, the consolidation was encouraged by Lamont, DAS Commissioner Josh Geballe and Connecticut Budget Chief Melissa McCaw, who all see “technology as an enabler of efficiency and making government accessible” in an online way.

“It allows us to be more convenient to people who are online, and allows us to pay more attention to the people who can’t,” Raymond says.

MORE FROM STATETECH: Why improving the online experience is key to expanding digital government.

DepthofField/Getty Images