Monday, December 13, 2010

Best of 2010 for Digital Government / IT in Utah

Almost time to wrap up 2010 in the way that I've been doing since 2002. Every year, I have created a top 10 list of digital government achievements in Utah government.
  1. Utah completes its statewide consolidation of data centers. The consolidation was completed in June 2010 after just 18 months; right on schedule. In total, 38 data centers were consolidated, leaving just two primary data centers, one being primarily for backup and redundancy and being located off the Wasatch Front earthquake zone. The project will save the state over $4 million in ongoing costs. Over 1800 servers were virtualized and moved into these central locations, leaving less than 600 physical servers. A second phase of this project will produce additional benefits. The new consolidated center will also provide an important private cloud component in Utah's overall hybrid cloud strategy.
  2. Utah again recognized as the #1 digital state. In August, the Center for Digital Government completed its biennial survey of the states, with Michigan and Utah both receiving "A" grades.
  3. New Driver License System with associated online services goes live, lots of new automation added to every terminal. The new system is developed using Google Web Toolkit.
  4. A new The Department of Workforce Services begins to accept Open IDs on their new MyCase System with single sign-on for once disjointed services. The economy unit publishes a new blog with the latest economic news.
  5. Advances in mobile websites and services. The mobile version of adds location aware services to the state portal.
  6. IT recommendations from Governor Gary Herbert's optimization team. The optimization team recognizes the value of technology and online services and encourages agencies to do more.
  7. Online Continuing Education for the Division of Professional Licensing (DOPL). This is the beginning of a new trend as the Utah Department of Commerce works with online course providers using a web-based admin console and ties professional license holders directly to course providers for continuing education.
  8. Growth of Broadband Use by Utah Citizens. Utah ranks #1 in broadband use among states, confirming the value of its efforts to push more services and interaction online.
  9. Use of social media in critical situations. Twitter became a key communications tool in multiple emergency scenarios. When a large wildfire threatened the community of Herriman, city, county, and state emergency responders, along with traditional media used Twitter to get the word out to citizens about evacuation routes, fire conditions, emergency shelters, etc. In December, southern Utah communities were threatened by flooding and emergency responders again used Twitter to get information out to the community at large.
  10. Public and Higher Education Added to Transparency Website. The Utah Public Finance Website has added data from education units across the state. This is a significant step forward in meeting the transparency requirements of the Utah State Legislature. While the site itself is much the same as last year, the addition of higher education institution, school districts, and charter school information is a major success.

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