States See New Model For Project Planning, Purchasing

How do you make sure that every project in your state or organization is working towards an overall mission in the most efficient and cost effective way? Alex Pettit, CIO of the State of Oklahoma, talks with Chris Dorobek of the DorobekINSIDER about the need for enterprise architecture when strategically planning the high level goals for your state or agency.

For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, enterprise architecture is a way for states to improve and lower costs for IT procurement. It’s the “overall purpose for the organization and the components that makeup the elements that help us achieve that purpose,” says Pettit. “it may be the process, the people, or the technologies that help the organization accomplish its desired outcomes and objectives.”

If enterprise architecture is the overall idea of a project, it is made possible by strategic procurement that gives workers the tools to implement ideas, while avoiding fragmented spending across a state or agency that leads of unnecessary dollars spent. This form of strategic planning provides high level vision and leadership that keeps everyone down the chain of command focused on a unified mission, keeping everyone from getting derailed by short term roadblocks.

Streamlining IT investments should start with reducing diversity and complexity through standardization. So what does this mean for today’s acquisition and procurement specialists in the IT field? Pettit elaborates:

Pettit says that many organizations have fallen into a pattern of production in which they’ve narrowed their approach due to budget cuts and fear of trying new things in uncertain times instead of remaining focused on the big picture.

The takeaway: state leaders should consider the benefits of aligning IT procurement and enterprise architecture not only as a way to deliver IT services more effectively, but also as a way to find savings through smart investments.

To learn more about these concepts, read a full report from NASCIO: Leveraging Enterprise Architecture for Improved IT Procurement

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Josh Nankivel

Agree, and I think the fragmented spending mentioned is definitely a big problem.

Not only do agencies procure equipment without a strategic enterprise architecture and plan in mind in some cases, but in many instances budgets are funded by the congress in such a way project by project that is makes it difficult to have a unified approach across the agency, or indeed across government.