This was an impressive year for California’s IT community and the Office of the State Chief Information Officer (OCIO) as we worked to improve government services and operations while saving taxpayer dollars. We again saw organizational changes to further the Administration’s vision of “One IT” to consolidate and modernize technology programs throughout the executive branch.  It started in 2005 with the combining of the state’s two major data centers into the Department of Technology Services (DTS).  In 2008, the OCIO was created as a project management and policy setting office. In 2009, a Governor’s Reorganization Plan combined the OCIO, DTS, Office of Information Security and the Telecommunications Division of the Department of General Services into an expanded OCIO.  This year included a major IT consolidation initiative, launched first by a Governor’s executive order and then codified through legislation.  We are beginning to move the executive branch into a common technology infrastructure to save energy and costs while improving efficiency and security.  On January 1st , the OCIO will move forward as the newly rebranded California Technology Agency.  Here are some of the notable highlights and other major events that occurred in 2010:

In January, more than 200 state IT professionals attended the 20th anniversary of Executive Institute, an annual two-day event hosted by the Office of Technology Services.  The event featured panels, workshops and keynote speakers including:  Acting State and Consumer Services Secretary Tom Sheehy, Cal EPA Secretary Linda Adams, GSA official Martha Dorris, TechCrunch blogger Vivek Wadhwa and tech entrepreneur Brian Gruber.

In February, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Executive Order (EO) S-03-10 to serve as the road map to modernize and consolidate California’s IT program.  The executive order standardizes IT governance, defines targets to achieve cost savings and reduce energy usage from IT operations 30 percent by 2012 among other improvements.    The goals to improve efficiency, security, and reliability, with specific target dates, were later codified into state law when the Governor signed AB 2408.

The OCIO issued a policy letter on the use of social media in California state government.  In doing so, California officially adopted the use of social media tools to promote communication and transparency for Californians interacting with state government.   In short, the policy says that state agencies much consider a number of risk factors before launching an official social media site.    After weighing the risks, the department’s executive office or public information officer must approve the site and all content that is posted.   The executive office must also consider such factors before they decide whether or not department employees have access to social media sites while at work.

“The more we increase the state’s online presence to enhance communication and transparency, the better we are able to serve Californians,” said Teri Takai in a statement.   “At the same time we must be diligent to ensure we use social media tools in a way that is secure and appropriate for official business. This policy provides a risk management framework for agencies to consider in their use of these innovative and dynamic tools.”

In March, Office of Information Security Director Mark Weatherford was named Chief Security Officer of the Year by SC Magazine.  As part of the magazine’s 2010 Professional Awards, Weatherford was given the prestigious recognition for his outstanding achievements in information technology IT Security.   SC Magazine is a well-respected, international publication focused on IT security.

In April, the Sunshine Review announced that the State of California received a “Sunny Award” for having one of the most effective government websites in the nation for promoting government transparency.  California was one of 39 state and local government websites out of 5,000 reviewed to earn an “A” for transparency and one of eight states to receive a Sunny Award.  In the evaluation, California earned high marks for an easy-to-navigate search function, and having publicly available the budget, financial audit reports, state contracts, state official contact information, state taxes, state ethics commission information, public records requests, and registered lobbyists listings and reports.

OCIO Chief Deputy Adrian Farley was tapped to take over as chief technology officer and acting director of the Office of Technology Services.

Office of Technology Services Director P.K. Agarwal left state service to become the CEO of TiE Global. According to its website, TiE is the world’s largest non-profit organization focused on entrepreneurship. The TiE ecosystem comprises 13,000 members, with 20% of them being charter members by invitation – top entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, lawyers and management professionals in their chosen field.

In May, This year’s IT Manager’s Academy (ITMA) class project was launched – an information portal for the State’s 10,000 IT Workers.   www.Calinfo.ca.gov was launched to allow users to share useful products and receive useful content.

In June, State Chief Information Officer Teri Takai launched California’s newly redesigned Web portal, CA.gov. With enhanced search capabilities, the new portal makes services and information easier to find through an improved, easy-to-navigate, interactive design. The portal includes an updated public data site with more than 100 million records available for custom “mashup” applications, a mobile site with more than 40 applications designed for smart phones and searchable maps with data on thousands of state government facilities including field offices, state parks, public schools, universities, libraries and more.

As part of California’s effort to consolidate and modernize IT, the fourth of Office of Technology Services (OTech) mainframe computers was successfully moved from the Cannery Campus to a new data center in Vacaville.   Reaching a major milestone, OTech eliminated 75,000 square feet of raised floor data center space at the aging Cannery Campus in Sacramento — a huge step toward reaching the State of California’s IT consolidation goals.

In July, Takai launched news.ca.gov, an information aggregator website that pulls together more than 200 official state RSS and Twitter feeds and YouTube sites from across state departments and agencies – all into one place.  The news site was part of the newly redesigned CA.gov portal that receives more than 7.3 million unique visitors each month.

Office of Information Security (OIS) Director Mark Weatherford left California service to become vice president and chief security officer at the North American Electric Reliability Corp., a non-profit with the mission to ensure the reliability of the bulk power system in North America.

The Information and Communications Technologies Digital Literacy Leadership Council released a formal definition of digital literacy and a strategic plan for advancing digital literacy for residents of all ages. The plan was the result of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Executive Order S-06-09 issued in 2009 calling for the advancement of digital literacy in California.  California is one of the first states in the nation to formally define, develop and promote ways of ensuring that all Californians are capable of using digital technologies in their work and to support lifelong learning. The full report, titled “Digital Literacy Pathways in California,” can be found on the State Chief Information Officer’s website at www.cio.ca.gov/digitalliteracy.

In August, the OCIO’s Public Safety Communications Division released its strategic plan, a road map to the development of the state’s next generation of 911 services.  “The strategic plan sets the stage to ensure the 911 program moves forward,” deputy director Karen Wong told Government Technology Magazine.

In September, California won first place in the Center for Digital Government’s national Best of Web competition. California placed second last year, third in 2008 and was unranked in previous years.  “This award demonstrates the state’s commitment to making government more responsive and accessible through our website – this is great news for the many Californians who want to access information, services and connect with their state government,” said Governor Schwarzenegger in a press statement.

Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 2408 to improve the state’s information technology infrastructure, increase government efficiency and save costs. The measure codified Governor’s Executive Order (EO) S-03-10 issued in February to define targets and timelines for IT consolidation across the executive branch. It also created a permanent structure for IT governance as outlined in Governor’s Reorganization Plan 1 which consolidated state IT functions under the OCIO. It also renamed the OCIO as the “California Technology Agency” effective January 1, 2011.

The OCIO was notified by the federal Rural Utilities Service (RUS) and the National Telecommunications Information Agency (NTIA) that California broadband projects under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) totaled:
RUS:  Grant $15,811,787;  Loans $8,655,020   NTIA:  California only grants:  $350,064,330;  Multistate grants: $62,540,162
Grant Total:   Grant:  $558,266,249; Loans:  $8,655,020

The agency had assisted the Governor in reviewing the California broadband ARRA applications and making recommendations on them.  California fared the best of all states in broadband grants, reflecting our State’s long time commitment to closing the Digital Divide and digital  literacy for all our residents.

In October, the Office of Information Security hosted  the 9th Annual IT Security Awareness Fair.  Keynote speakers included:  State CIO Teri Takai, U.S. Representative Dan Lungren, Matt Linton from NASA Ames Research Center and Randy Vickers from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Chief Deputy CIO Mike Locatis was named CIO of the U.S. Department of Energy.  Locatis was California’s lead executive for the statewide IT consolidation effort.  He arrived earlier in the year from the State of Colorado where he oversaw a similar effort.

In November, consistent with the Governor executive order to consolidate IT and AB 2408, the OCIO published Information Technology Policy Letter (ITPL) 10-14 requiring agencies to close non-tier III-equivalent data centers and server rooms throughout state government.

California also developed a centralized Tier III data center that is managed by a federation of state departments.   The Federated Data Center is one of the three data center options that will be supported by the California Technology Agency under Chapter 404, Statutes of 2010 (AB 2408).  The FDC officially launched on November 3, 2010 with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by State CIO Teri Takai, then Chief Deputy Director Christy Quinlan, Chief Technology Officer and Acting Office of Technology Services Director Adrian Farley,  Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) Secretary Matthew Cate, CDCR Agency Chief Information Officer Joe Panora, Federal Receiver J. Clark Kelso, the Receiver’s Chief Deputy Elaine Bush, the Receiver’s Acting CIO Liana Bailey-Crimmins and Department of Health Care Services Director David Maxwell Jolley, among others.

After nearly three years as California’s CIO, Teri Takai was appointed by President Obama to be the CIO of the Department of Defense.   Recruited from the State of Michigan by Governor Schwarzenegger, Takai arrived in California in January of 2008 and oversaw the establishment of the OCIO.  During her tenure, she led the effort to reform and modernize California’s IT program, including a Governor’s Reorganization Plan to integrate the Office of Information, Department of Technology Services (now OTech) and the Department of General Services, Telecommunications Division – into an expanded OCIO.   She also pioneered California’s statewide IT consolidation effort as outlined in AB 2408.

The OCIO launched the Digital Literacy Video Series to promote a better understanding of the digital literacy initiative created by Governor Schwarzenegger’s Executive Order S-06-09.  The series includes interview clips with thought leaders, including: State CIO Teri Takai, State Senator Alex Padilla, Stacey Aldrich, State Librarian, Michael Peevey, President, California Public Utilities Commission, Chris McKenzie, Executive Director, League of California Cities, Rachelle Chong, OCIO Special Counsel, Brenda Kempster, Executive Director, LINK AMERICAS Foundation, Phil Bond, President and CEO of TechAmerica, Stephanie Couch, Executive Director, CA STEM Learning Network, Dr. Barbara O’Connor, Director, California Emerging Technology Fund, Sunne Wright McPeak, President and CEO, California Emerging Technology Fund and Bonnie Reiss, Secretary of Education for the State of California.   The series can be found on the OCIO YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/californiacio

As a result of the Routing on Empirical Data (RED) Project, the California 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Office reported a significant reduction in the number of 9-1-1 wireless calls receiving a busy signal, dropping from about 42% of calls attempted in 2007 to less than 5% today.   The drop in wait times has been largely attributed to the more efficient routing of calls delivered to the local public safety answering points.

In December, the OCIO’s Program Management Office (PMO) achieved the Software Engineering Institute’s (SEI) Capability Maturity Model Integration Maturity Level 3 rating. This designation demonstrates the PMOs expertise and maturity in project management. On the same level with well-established, multinational corporations and selected federal government agencies, California is among the first states to earn such a distinction. The SEI is a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense and operated by Carnegie Mellon University.

Acting Chief Information Officer Christy Quinlan announced her retirement after 39 years of service with the State of California.   She will serve through the transition until the next Chief Information Officer is appointed by the Brown Administration.  Congratulations Christy!