August 2017
  • Corporate Members: Early bird registration for the Annual Conference ends August 18
  • State IT Recognition award finalists announced
  • Visit the conference website for agenda updates
  • Join us for our upcoming webinar: State Governments Get Agile on August 24 @ 3 pm ET 
  • Share your expertise at #NASCIO17. Call for speakers closes August 22
  • Thank you to our NASCIO 2017 Annual Conference Sponsors! 
  • Check out the latest Corporate Perspectives blog post
  • Meet Our Newest Corporate Member
  • The NASCIO Data Management Working Group and Enterprise Architecture Committees are looking for speakers. Contact Eric with suggestions.
  • Check out the latest video in the NASCIO Video Vault
The Benefits of Data Center Consolidation
  Amy Glasscock, Senior Policy Analyst

For years now, states have been working toward consolidation of their information technology services. States find it more efficient, affordable, cleaner, more user friendly and easier to manage. Along with this often goes the consolidation of the state data centers.

Traditionally, each agency had a data center and was responsible for the maintenance, security and staffing required to manage it. Once consolidated, many states have been able to move as many as 35 or more data centers into just one or two. The benefits are considerable.

First and foremost, data center consolidation can save a state hundreds of millions of dollars over just several years. While there are always upfront costs to build a more modern, larger and efficient data center, states see savings in energy use (more efficient heating and cooling, and smaller square footage overall), and smaller workforce needs (mostly achievable via attrition). This usually results in direct savings to the agencies, so that they can spend their money directly on citizen services instead of IT.

Just as important, are the increased security benefits. One State CIO I recently talked to said that while he knew consolidating would result in better security, he had no idea just how much. Having communications coming through one network allows the Department of Information Technology to have a clear view of threats, as well as the ability to analyze them, rank them and deal with them before they spread or before any information leaves the system. It also reduces the attack surface for the state.

Of course, these benefits don't usually come without some challenges. There are always agencies that are hesitant to give up control of their data centers. That's why it's critical for the CIO's office to work with agency CIOs as partners from the beginning. Everyone needs a voice to move toward a beneficial outcome for all affected.

Another state shared that in their experience, while there was some pushback, knowing that $4 million in savings would go directly back to agencies as reduced rates made it an easy sell.

NASCIO will be releasing a new publication on data center consolidation in the coming weeks with more information from and for states.
Watch on Washington Top 5

  1. 15 in FirstNet To date, fourteen states (MT, WY, NM, MN, AR, WV, VA, KY, MI, NJ, ME, KS, AZ, NV) and one territory (VI) have opted-in to the FirstNet provided state plans. Michigan was the first of the RFP-issuing states to opt-in. See the full map here.
  2. FirstNet: GAO Report and Oversight Hearing On July 20, the Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing, "An Update on FirstNet" with FirstNet CEO, AT&T Senior VP, and other witnesses representing potential public safety users. The hearing largely centered on issues related to coverage, the non-disclosure agreements, and integration issues with NG911.  A related GAO report released the same day discusses the same issues but also notes concerns raised by stakeholders including rural and in-building coverage, cybersecurity, IAM, and engagement with tribal nations. 
  3. Verizon will compete with FirstNet/AT&T  At an APCO event, Verizon senior VP Mike Maiorana stated that Verizon has a "pretty good market share" in the public safety sector and is dominant in certain parts of the country. Similar in theme to FirstNet's priority preemption, Verizon is offering its Private Network Traffic Management services which is "designed to provide quality-of-service prioritization to subscribers." Verizon had an announcement  to this effect on August 16 th . More  here.
  4. Confusion on FirstNet Opt-In During a meeting with Los Angeles regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS) board of directors, Rivada co-CEO Declan Ganley has stated that FirstNet opt-in decisions by governors are not binding, which is in direct conflict with statements by FirstNet and AT&T who stated that states that have opted-in before the issuance of state plans were, indeed, binding by the state. More here.
  5. Expanding Cyber Corp On August 2, the Senate Commerce Committee marked up, S. 754, the Cyber Scholarship Opportunities Act of 2017, which would expand those eligible for the CyberCorp: Scholarship for Service program to include those attending school part-time, those pursuing an associate's degree in a cybersecurity field without the intent to transfer to a bachelor's degree program, and those that already have a bachelor's degree or are veterans of the Armed Forces.
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NASCIO has been out and about - check out where we've been the last month. 
Just click the map for details.

This year's NCPP Conference is from September 28-29 in Boston, Massachusetts.  Th ere will be a variety of panels and workshops covering performance topics that include sustaining performance in times of transition, public health and social service, open data and local government.  Learn more.

Dewand Neely, Indiana CIO on Data Analytics
(NASCIO 2016 Annual Conference)