Sunshine State Plans IT InitiativesSunshine State Plans IT Initiatives
New CIO aims to save money, help citizens do more things themselves
July 18, 2002
Consolidation is a word that can have many meanings for an IT department. For Kimberly Bahrami, Florida's newly appointed CIO, consolidation is a way to operate more efficiently and cost-effectively. Topping Bahrami's to-do list are plans to combine a variety of state government networks and to improve Florida's procurement process by leveraging the buying power of 40 agencies. Bahrami was appointed to the post last month after serving as acting state CIO for the past year.
"We have separate networks that service our voice, video, and data needs, Bahrami says. "We're looking at how we can achieve economies of scale by consolidating."Bahrami has a team of 400 and an annual budget of $350 million. She reports directly to Gov. Jeb Bush. Her main job is to build, operate, and maintain state agencies' technology infrastructure as efficiently as possible. Combining diverse networks into a single network is one way to simplify the state's technology infrastructure.
Users shouldn't need a civics degree to access government services, Florida CIO Bahrami says.Bahrami also is studying ways to get volume pricing discounts on purchases of popular products used by multiple agencies. "Right now, we're duplicating a lot of spending," she says. "We have several agencies that purchase office-management applications like Excel or Lotus Notes on an individual basis."The state relies on technology to simplify paper-and people-intensive processes and to help citizens do things themselves. "A user shouldn't have to have a civics degree to know where to get a particular item or service," Bahrami says. Floridians can apply for or renew driver's, fishing, and hunting licenses at http://www.myflorida.com, a Web portal designed for residents, visitors, businesses, and government. People also can search official county records online and access the Web sites of all 40 state government agencies from the portal.Running a state IT department can take 12 to 15 hours a day. But Bahrami says she makes time for her husband, a doctor, and their 11-year-old daughter. To be closer to her family in Georgia, they moved to Tallahassee from Germany, where she worked as a business manager for the Central European Composite Health Care System sector of Science Applications International Corp. When she does have spare time, Bahrami rides horses and reads biographies of Abraham Lincoln and Princess Diana.
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