AIF SUPPORTS the adoption and implementation of a formal “cloud-first” strategy for the State of Florida. Specifically, AIF believes that the state should seek cloud-based solutions as the first choice rather than solutions that would be hosted in the state data center. Agencies should be encouraged, if not required, to pursue cloud-based solutions. This would include software as a service, infrastructure as service, platform as a service, and other cloud-based approaches.
AIF believes that it should be the goal for the state to eliminate or greatly reduce the need for a state data center over time, but with the understanding that this will require careful planning, an orderly process, and significant time. AIF SUPPORTS the need for an enterprise technology agency. We believe the primary responsibilities for the Agency for State Technology (AST) should be to assist the agencies in the planning and transitioning to cloud solutions, to develop enterprise strategies, implement enterprise solutions, strategic planning, and in operating the data center as long as there is a need for it.
AIF urges the legislature to change current funding and budgetary models that currently impede agencies from moving to cloud-based solutions. The legislature should consider directly funding the State Data Center rather than using the current agency charge-back system. This would allow agencies to move to modern and more cost-effective cloud solutions without increasing the costs to other agencies that are still using the State Data Center. The legislature should also consider allowing information technology (IT) firms to rent State Data Center services as part of a solution to move agencies to cloud solutions. This would allow revenue to come into the data center to offset revenue losses from agencies moving out of the data center.
AIF SUPPORTS the continued need for investment in IT and the modernization of Florida’s outdated systems and processes. IT should be viewed as an investment in the future of Florida. Many of our citizen-facing systems including web portals and call centers are stove-piped and woefully ineffective. Many of the state’s core systems are decades old and unsustainable.
AIF SUPPORTS technology investments that recognize that better information is the key to efficient government and effective services for Florida’s taxpayers. Our citizens deserved more than cobbled-together, outdated systems that run on obsolete hardware and software. We support an “investment-based” view toward information technology rather than an “expense-based” view.
AIF believes that the return on the state’s investment should include the value of having citizen-friendly systems, the positive impact to Florida’s economy, and the mitigation of the failure of unsustainable systems.
AIF SUPPORTS investment to protect state assets, systems and data.
A significant cyber-attack on our state could have devastating results far beyond a data breach. First responder systems, corrections systems, public assistance systems, food inspection systems, health care systems and many others could be impacted with catastrophic result.
AIF believes that the legislature should continue to fund comprehensive and on-going security assessments and remediation. We support a strong enterprise security office headed by a well-qualified Chief Information Security Officer.
AIF SUPPORTS the need for open and transparent bid processes.
AIF believes that the Department of Management Services (DMS) should maintain state term contracts for information technology services including independent verification and validation (IV&V) services, IT staff augmentation services, management consulting services, cloud services and IT consulting services. Alternate contract sources should only be used as “alternate” contracting vehicles to supplement state contracts when needed. DMS should not allow state contracts to terminate as a means to discontinue state contracts in favor of “alternate contract sources.”
AIF believes that the Florida Legislature should make necessary statue changes to allow for the implementation of a vendor registration system for IT services state term contracts. The current process of determining the vendor pool for state term contracts via a competitive bid process has not worked well and should be eliminated. Instead, vendors should be able to register at any time rather than having to wait years for the state to issue a new state term contract. Under this approach, when vendors register they would agree to abide by the terms of the state term contract, attest to legal requirements such as being registered with the Division of Corporations to do business in Florida, and provide references. This would allow for more qualified bidders and more moderns solutions.
AIF believes that all procurements should be noticed. Under current rules and statutes, agencies do not have to notify all eligible bidders when an “alternate contract source” or state contract bid is released. AIF believes this practice discourages open competition and should be changed.