Virtualize our Tax Dollars!

Virtualize our Tax Dollars!

If you were one of the more than 6 million daily readers of the “USAToday” on Feb. 16, 2011, you were probably as horrified as I was to learn that prisoners in U.S. jails stole more than $39.1 million in IRS refunds in one year. I was especially agitated having just sat down the previous night to work on my own income taxes.

April 15 is obviously a dreaded date for most Americans, so it was especially disturbing to see how convicted criminals were benefiting from this annual patriotic ritual of filing taxes. Not wanting to throw my beloved State of Florida under the bus, I was especially embarrassed to learn that my home town state led the way with over $12,576,944 in fraudulent payments to Florida prisoners.

Full story here:

There has to be a better way to improve government efficiency and access to information.

Governments at all levels are facing severe budget cuts and are struggling to cut costs to provide more efficient ways of providing services to its citizens. IT staffs are limited in resources and challenged to provide modern applications agile enough to meet changing demands of government. Over the course of my career at VMware and previously at Dell Inc, I have been fortunate to work with many hardworking and dedicated public sector employees who are making a difference by incorporating technology to accomplish some truly outstanding things. I am proud of the difference these IT professionals are making leveraging VMware virtualization in our cities, counties, states, schools and federal agencies.

During the National Association of State Chief Information Officers’ (NASIO) year-end conference, several states received 2010 Recognition Awards for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Information Technology for State Government. The State of Illinois was recognized for a project that resulted in more efficient operations at a reduced cost while improving server uptime and decreasing time for server/storage provisioning. During the life of the project, the State of Illinois saved over $10 million for improving state operations through data center consolidation and virtualization.

Cutting costs, while improving service … it is possible!

Another favorite example for me is a university well known among college sports fans as part of the Big Ten Conference, but also recognized as a leading university for academia and research with over 110,000 students and 8 geographically dispersed campuses. Through VMware virtualization over 90 percent of their servers were consolidated including Tier 1 applications such as Oracle data bases, ERP systems, and even their online course management system, the university’s most publicly visible applications. This university drastically cut costs, lowered energy usage, and provided a more efficient IT infrastructure for its students and faculty. Clearly a success worth replicating in schools and agencies here and globally.

Or how about the local city government that implemented virtualization for server consolidation and ended up cutting costs by shrinking their data center such that they were able to lease out floor space to then become a profit center. I enjoy hearing their stories and am proud that I can be a part of the transformation to help these struggling public sector agencies improve their IT operations while cutting costs.

Severe budget shortfalls might have been the initial impetus for data center consolidation, but now the public sector has fully embraced virtualization technology as the foundation for moving to the Cloud to improve service performance levels and eliminate inefficiencies.

The states of Utah and Michigan are leading the way with this effort and see Cloud services as a natural extension of their data center consolidation efforts.

These are definitely exciting times knowing that the next 12 months will bring dramatic changes as Cloud technology becomes the catalyst to cut costs, improve efficiencies, provide increased access to information and improve overall business agility. As the public sector touches every aspect of our lives, it is imperative that we transform the way we deliver IT services because it will significantly impact the quality of life today and in the future.

And maybe help deliver our government tax dollars where they belong.


You can follow me and keep up with the latest VMware news for the public sector on Twitter @VMwareEdu and @VMwareGov

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