Strategic CIO // Executive Insights & Innovation
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4/9/2009
08:21 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
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California Dreamin', Part Two: 14 IT Projects For $6.24B

Two months ago, California CIO Teri Takai explained how she was bringing that state's madcap IT strategy and staggering IT budget under control. No doubt they're making progress but it's still frightening to look at its list of 111 approved and under-construction IT projects, particularly the top 14 that will cost $6.24 billion and take 91 years to complete.

Two months ago, California CIO Teri Takai explained how she was bringing that state's madcap IT strategy and staggering IT budget under control. No doubt they're making progress but it's still frightening to look at its list of 111 approved and under-construction IT projects, particularly the top 14 that will cost $6.24 billion and take 91 years to complete.Takai and her team explained that while these projects are approved and underway, funding is granted on a year-by-year basis, so it's possible that not all 111 will run their courses. Nevertheless, looking at this partial list of the 14 most-expensive projects is sure to make you feel a little less anxious about your own to-do list.

As we wrote at the time, Takai has made big strides in building a sense of collaboration and accountability across the state's far-flung and complex IT operations, and Gov. Schwarzenegger is expecting Takai to make California state IT not only a leader among states but a match for private-sector IT operations within California.

But while the "approved" budget numbers would seem to indicate that Takai has near-unlimited funding for these massive projects, she does not have anything close to unlimited time: term limits will sweep her boss and his appointees, including Takai, out of office in about 20 months. Bear that in mind as you peruse this list, and ask yourself if she and her team could accomplish this agenda even if she had not two years but 10 (the lifespan of some of these projects, by the way).

Here's a link to the full list of approved IT projects, forecast to cost $7.62 billion, and for your misery-loves-company relief I have inserted below the top 14, which have an average price of (sit down) $446 million. While we covered some of these in January -- listing several that would cost $3.6 billion -- this updated list of 14 almost doubles the cost of those we noted in January, and comes after Takai and her team have begun to institute some controls.

I've listed the state department or agency hosting the project along with the projected cost and duration; for more details, click the link above. Courage:

--Department of Finance, $1.62 billion, 12 years --Child Support Services, $1.5 billion, 5 years --Health & Human Services, $489 million, 9 years --Corrections & Rehabilitation, $416 million, 6 years --Franchise Tax Board, $319 million, 5 years --Health & Human Services, $299 million, 10 years --Health & Human Services, $264 million, 4 years --Health & Human Services, $257 million, 7 years --Dept. of Motor Vehicles, $208 million, 7 years --Child Support Services, $204 million, 4 years --Corrections & Rehabilitation, $191 million, 3 years --State Controller, $179 million, 6 years --Corrections & Rehabilitation, $176 million, 5 years --Unemployment Dept., $126 million, 8 years

Big state. Big numbers.

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