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IT Governance

Cloud-First Strategy

AIF SUPPORTS Florida’s “cloud-first” strategy for the State of Florida. Agencies should be encouraged to pursue cloud-based solutions unless there are justifiable reasons for different approaches. Cloud services would include software, infrastructure, platform, and security as a service as well as other cloud-based approaches. AIF SUPPORTS this approach with an understanding that “cloud-first” does not necessarily mean “cloud-only.”

The state should continue to reduce its dependency on the state data center. It is essential to have a strong information technology agency. We applaud the legislature and the Office of the Governor for the creation of the Division of State Technology (DST) within the Department of Management Services. We believe that the DST should be an ally to all agencies and a conduit for a wide variety of cloud-based solutions—not just state data center solutions. The DST should be a resource to assist agencies in transitioning to the cloud and other modern approaches.

The DST and the new State CIO should provide vision and leadership to the State’s overall IT strategy without being encumbered by the way things have been done in the past.

Modernization of Florida’s IT-Based Systems – Enterprise Approaches

AIF SUPPORTS stronger investments in IT and the modernization of Florida’s outdated systems and processes. We believe that IT should be viewed as an investment in the future of Florida. Many of our citizen-facing and business-facing systems, web portals and call centers, are stove-piped and woefully ineffective. Many of the state’s core systems are decades old and unsustainable.

Effective enterprise approaches to state processes that cross multiple agencies should be an integral component of Florida’s future strategy. This will require leadership commitments to enterprise data interoperability, modernized applications that function across agencies, and new approaches to constituent communications at an enterprise level. Florida’s citizens and businesses should have easy access to state government without the need to navigate many different agencies in order to exchange information and conduct business with our state government.

A single agency should be responsible for enterprise operational processes that are common to all agencies for processes that are not specific to the mission of the agencies. We believe that the DST is the logical agency to assume this operational responsibility and that a Chief Enterprise Officer should be appointed to reside in the DST.

AIF SUPPORTS an “investment-based” view of information technology rather than an “expense-based” view. The return on the state’s investment should include the value of having citizen and business-friendly systems, the positive impact to Florida’s economy and the mitigation of the failure of unsustainable systems.

Investment in Cybersecurity

AIF SUPPORTS investment to protect state assets, systems and data. We commend the State for the creation of the Florida Cybersecurity Task Force.

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 results.

The legislature should continue to fund comprehensive and on-going security assessments and remediation. AIF SUPPORTS a strong enterprise approach to cybersecurity.

Improvements in Contracting and Procurement

AIF SUPPORTS the need for open and transparent bid processes and for the modernization of state contracts for IT. 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. We believe that it should require legislative approval for state contracts to be terminated or dropped in favor of “alternate contract sources” and that alternate contract sources should be “alternate”—not the primary contract source.

AIF ENCOURAGES the necessary statute changes to allow for the implementation of a vendor registration system for IT services in 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 changed. 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, more moderns solutions and more competitive pricing.

AIF ENCOURAGES a rule change so that all procurements would be noticed via the DMS Vendor Bid System (VBS). 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. This practice discourages open competition and opens the door for vendor favoritism.