Imagine consolidating 91 different parts of your business, trimming spending by $100 million per year, and trying to pour innovation into the business--and all within four years. That's the task facing Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, Stephanie Stahl says, as he uses business-process and IT change to transform state government.
Imagine consolidating 91 different parts of your business, trimming spending by $100 million per year, and at the same time trying to pour innovation into the business. Imagine that when you took on the task you didn't even know how much was being spent on information technology—could have been $500 million or it could have been more than a billion. Oh yeah, and imagine trying to do all of this in a very short timeframe because the person leading the charge won't be in that position for very long.
It's a story of change, agility, efficiency, innovation, and economic development. It's one that would have executives who are hardened to mergers and acquisitions paying attention. This story isn't being played out in a commercial business, but rather in the state of Virginia.
My colleague Eric Chabrow and I had a chance to chat with Gov. Mark Warner recently about the progress of his aggressive transformation plan to use IT to run the state more efficiently and to drive innovation in all pockets. Warner, who is halfway through his term in a state that limits its governors to one term, only has a short while to see it through. He's partially through consolidating IT operations from nearly all state agencies under the Virginia Information Technology Agency. (You can read more in "Advancing A Tech Agenda").
Virginia Technology Secretary George Newstrom told me recently that before the transformation began, the state operated "like a Mickey Mouse watch when it needed to be a Swiss watch." The state, he says, is approaching the change from a business-process position, not just a technology position.
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