Schwarzenegger Codifies California IT Reform

The executive order mandates consolidating data centers and other changes to create more efficient and cost-effective IT operations.
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has codified a February executive order mandating sweeping changes to the state's ailing IT operations.

On Tuesday, the governor signed into law AB 2408, a bill written by Assembly member Cameron Smyth (R-Santa Clarita) and Assembly member Alyson Huber (D-El Dorado Hills), which, like the executive order Schwarzenegger issued in February, is aimed at improving the state's IT infrastructure to cut costs and increase efficiency.

"This legislation tops a list of strategic changes made to California's IT program to further improve the state's IT operations," Schwarzenegger said in a press statement. "This action will strengthen project oversight, increase transparency in spending, promote greater cost savings and define specific targets to reduce energy usage in our IT systems and further consolidate services."

The bill makes law actions mandated by the order, such as a plan to consolidate data center space by 50% by July 2011 and to cut energy usage from IT operations 20% by July 2011 and 30% by July 2012. The executive order also called for the standardization of IT governance under the Office of the State CIO, which Schwarzenegger established in 2007 as a cabinet-level office and which the bill also codifies.

Other actions from the order that bill makes law are a plan to host all mission-critical public-facing applications and server refreshes in a Tier III data center. This will mean the state will close all existing data centers and server rooms that house non-network equipment by June 2013. Agencies also should begin migrating from their existing network services to the new California Government Network no later than July 2011, and begin migrating to a state-shared email solution no later than June 2011.

Other actions the law calls for are the development and maintenance of enterprise architecture plans to comply with statewide enterprise architecture policies and standards as established by the California CIO, and mandatory participation in activities coordinated by the Office of Information Security for response to security incidents and cyber security threats. The law indicates California is serious about cleaning up its IT operations, giving the state IT management, which experienced some turnover earlier this year, a clear directive to act.

In May, then-CTO P.K. Agarwal left to take a position as CEO of nonprofit TiE Global. He was replaced by Adrian Farley, a former chief deputy for the CIO's office. In July, Chief Information Security Officer Mark Weatherford left to join the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, an electric power industry group. He was replaced by Patrick McGuire in an interim position.

The Office of the CIO, which will oversee all of these changes, also is in personnel limbo. CIO Teri Takai has been awaiting confirmation at a federal job since her March nomination by President Obama as CIO and assistant secretary for networks and information integration at the Department of Defense.

However, even as she awaits a possible new position, Takai has continued to chip away at the state's IT problems, issuing a status report on some of those efforts in May.