The Texas Transformation: Technology-Driven Value
2008 Biennial Performance Report on the Use of Information Resources Technologies in State Government
Texas Department of Information Resources
November 15, 2008
From the State's Chief Technology Officer
Every day, Texans use technology to access information about state government resources. From school classrooms and workforce centers across the state to wireless connections at home, the expectation is that a simple Internet search will result in fast, convenient, and accurate information for our citizens.
Behind the scenes, the engines that drive the availability of information are undergoing transformation at the enterprise level, providing the backbone for government technology now and in the future. Through programs like TexasOnline, the official state portal; TEX-AN, the voice and data network used by government entities throughout the state; data center services; and the ever-growing information and communications technology contracts, the Texas Department of Information Resources is leading the transformation. Each step forward provides greater data security and privacy for citizens, a foundation that encourages agencies to use valuable resources in meeting core missions, and exceptional value to the taxpayers of this great state.
The groundwork has been laid to realize the vision for an enterprise approach to the state’s technology resources as set forth in HB-1516, 79th Texas Legislature. This report details the progress made in the transformation of the state’s technology infrastructure. There have been significant milestones reached and the enterprise has experienced notable successes.
Throughout the upcoming biennium, the next generations of TexasOnline and TEX-AN will debut, the data center consolidation will generate anticipated savings and operational efficiencies, and the contracts program will continue to grow by providing tangible value to government entities. Security and privacy initiatives will guard against threats and loss of personal data, increasing citizen confidence in using technology to interact with government.
DIR is committed to the highest degree of accountability in this transformation and is dedicated to broad collaboration with its partners at every level of state and local government. Together, we will continue to implement the technology vision that is transforming state government to best serve all Texans today and tomorrow.
Brian S. Rawson
Texas Department of Information Resources
Implementing the Texas Transformation
Information and communications technology (ICT) provides vital tools that enable state and local service providers to better meet the needs of the citizens they serve. DIR committed to driving a statewide technology transformation in its 2008–2012 State Strategic Plan, The Texas Transformation: Delivering Technology That Matters. The State Strategic Plan laid out the statewide technology goals, objectives, strategies, and actions that will drive the Texas Transformation.
Texas has maintained a consistent set of statewide technology goals throughout several planning and reporting periods:
- Leverage the state’s investment in shared technology services;
- Protect and secure technology assets and information while safeguarding citizen privacy;
- Simplify citizen, government, and business access to public sector services and information;
- Promote the innovative use of technology that positively impacts the state’s business, as well as its economic development.
To achieve these goals, DIR has partnered with state and local government and public and higher education to align the state’s technology leadership and service delivery with the following statewide technology objectives:
- Solve common business problems through managed services;
- Deliver business value and maximize buying power through integrated technology supply chain services;
- Provide leadership to secure the state’s technology assets and promote appropriate use of citizen information;
- Enhance statewide technology management and collaboration;
- Deploy value-added technology solutions to meet agency core missions and serve Texas citizens.
Six legislative recommendations are proposed in this report for the upcoming legislative session to advance the goals of the State Strategic Plan:
- Streamline communications technology services governance;
- Allow assistance organizations to use TEX-AN under Texas Government Code Chapter 2170;
- Streamline statutory requirements for submission of Planned Procurement Schedules for ICT commodities;
- Enable the DIR Board to meet in executive session to hear security information;
- Authorize criminal history background checks for all DIR employees and contractors;
- Expand statutory requirements regarding breach notification to include state, regional, and local governmental entities.
This document reports on the biennial progress of Texas state government enterprise toward achieving the goals of the 2007 State Strategic Plan. The following tables present the objectives and strategies set forth in the State Strategic Plan and biennial accomplishments that fulfill these objectives and strategies.
Leverage the State’s Investment in Technology
Managed Service Delivery
Objective 1: Solve common business problems through managed services
The foundation of the Texas Transformation is a managed service delivery approach to the state’s key government technology initiatives. The benefits of this approach include lower costs for individual agencies, streamlined management of the state’s technology investment, and improved service delivery. The following table outlines progress on statewide strategies related to the state data center services (DCS) program; the state communications network, TEX-AN; the state portal, TexasOnline; and shared applications and processes such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and statewide e-mail, messaging, and web collaboration.
Texas Data Center Services
Strategy 1-1: Implement and manage high-performing, secure, and reliable data center services.
- Completed Transition
- Established 31 strong service levels
- Commenced Transformation
- Developed and implemented a chargeback system
- Created initial disaster recovery plans
- Developed an information security controls document
- Developed the DCS Technology Plan
- Developed initial standard configurations
- Commenced consolidation
- Developed top tier facilities
- Continued to expand the governance approach
- Received the 2007 Best Cross-Boundary Collaboration and Partnership NASCIO award
Communications Technology Services
Strategy 1-2: Deliver enhanced business value from managed communications technology services.
- Created a shared, statewide communications platform
- Transitioned the Health and Human Services Commission’s (HHSC) vendor responsibility
- Co-located and integrated network and security operations
- Developed a strategy and approach to the TEX-AN reprocurement
- Released the TEX-AN Vision Restatement Document
- Initiated the TEX-AN Next Generation reprocurement process
Strategy 1-3: Establish TexasOnline as the nation’s premier virtual field office and customer services portal.
- Expansion and improvements
- Implemented Texas Automated Vehicle Inspection System (TAVIS) application
- Implemented Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) enrollment fee application
- Extended eFiling to its 35th county
- Extended eFiling to Justice of the Peace courts
- Implemented the e-Grants system
- Implemented a special license plate order system
- Improved navigation
- Awarded highest ranking for the 2008 “Best Fit Integrator Award”
- Placed 4th in the national “Best of the Web” 2008 competition
- Awarded the Best of Texas 2008 “Project Excellence Award for Best Sustainable Value”
- E-government next-generation accomplishments
- Developed strategy and approach to the reprocurement
- Released the TexasOnline Vision Document
- Issued the TexasOnline Request for Offer (RFO)
Strategy 1-4: Leverage shared applications and processes where common business needs exist.
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)—
The Office of the Comptroller of Public Accounts (CPA)—
- Established the Texas ERP Advisory Council
- Established key workgroups comprised of representatives from Texas state agencies to address issues of immediate concern in greater detail
- Commissioned the development of an independent ERP business case study, which examines alternative scenarios to produce cost information
- Statewide e-mail, messaging, and web collaboration
- In process of extending existing DIR contract to provide managed service solutions to state agencies
- In process of implementing a collaborative web directory service that will be hosted by TexasOnline
Managed ICT Supply Chain
Objective 2: Deliver business value and maximize buying power through integrated technology supply chain services
Aggregating the state’s technology purchases maximizes its buying power. DIR’s ICT Contracts Program has evolved over the last biennium into a high-performance procurement model. By leveraging state purchasing power to drive down costs, the program provides a very competitive procurement channel to thousands of public sector entities across Texas. The following table outlines progress on statewide strategies related to supply chain support and contracting.
Supply Chain Support
Strategy 2-1: Develop and deploy knowledge-based procurement strategies.
- Developed and implemented the Revenue and Sales Reporting (RASR) system
- Transformed transaction-based procurement practices
- Implemented sourcing, procurement, and contract management dashboards
- Implemented a hosted customer relationship management system
Strategy 2-2: Expand metric-driven contracting practices.
- Developed and implemented regionally-based contracts
- Developed and implemented new sourcing strategy of augmenting RFOs
- Awarded multiple contracts for managed telecommunications services, wireless services, information security services, surveillance camera products, and managed document output services
- Expanded the scope of court case management software and related services contracts
- Initiated a procurement to establish a deliverables-based information technology services (DBITS) contract
- Implemented a new online interactive tool that compares pricing for seat management and other contracts through DIR
Protect, Secure, and Safeguard Assets and Information
Security and Privacy
Objective 3: Provide leadership to secure the state’s technology assets and promote appropriate use of citizen information
Security and privacy are critical areas for the success of any agency’s technology operations. Whether the source of an attack is an insider, web-borne malware, hackers, or terrorists, the consequences are often the same—loss of revenue or sensitive information, erosion of consumer and constituent confidence, interruption or denial of business operations, and even loss of life. The following table outlines progress on statewide strategies related to security and privacy.
Strategy 3-1: Provide leadership and assistance to agencies in the effective implementation of the State Enterprise Security Plan
- Established the Network and Security Operations Center (NSOC)
- Initiated a web application security-scanning capability
- Conducted 237 technical security assessments
- Implemented the first phase of a secure messaging web portal
- Participated with federal, state, and private sector representatives in Cyber Storm II, a national security exercise
- Established a state Computer Security Incident Response Team
Strategy 3-2: Promote effective approaches to information privacy management
- Convened a workgroup of privacy experts to help develop a DIR privacy incident response plan
- Conducted a privacy office assessment for the agency
- Reviewed privacy practices as reported in agency strategic plans
Simplify Access to Services
Technology Policy, Best Practices, and Partnerships
Objective 4: Enhance statewide technology management and collaboration
Government services and information play an integral role in promoting Texas businesses and social services and supporting citizen needs. A primary role of technology in today’s government is to simplify access and enable timely and effective delivery of government services. The dramatic growth in use of e-government services and information by Texans indicates that these services are of great value to the state’s citizens. The following table outlines progress on statewide strategies related to availability, interoperability, statewide project delivery, and statewide partnerships.
Strategy 4-1: Provide leadership and support in making state information available to all users
- Adopted administrative rules to promote accessibility
- Provided outreach and training activities
- Released an RFO for Comprehensive Web Development and Managed Services
- Issued a statewide survey on accessibility
- Adopted revisions to Chapter 206, Texas Administrative Code
- Worked collaboratively with requesting agencies to improve website usability
- Participated in the Office of the Attorney General’s workgroup that published guidelines for handling electronic discovery requests
- Proposed that the Records Management Interagency Coordinating Council create a Committee on Best Practices for Managing Digital Information
- Worked with the Texas State Library and Archives Commission to provide training on e-records management
Strategy 4-2: Provide leadership and support for cross-agency initiatives that enable or enhance data sharing and interoperability between agency processes and systems
- The Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Office of Court Administration, and Texas Department of Criminal Justice, in collaboration with the Texas Integrated Justice Information Systems Advisory Committee, have—
- Collaborated on reviewing and updating the Texas Justice Information Integration Initiative Plan
- Produced a gap analysis of certain information exchanges within the Texas justice community
- Developed models of 28 justice exchanges and an initial version of a NIEM-compliant Texas Data Reference Model
- Working at the request of the Texas Director of Homeland Security, the Texas Radio Coalition has—
- Conducted statewide surveys and targeted focus groups to assess the current assets and capabilities of public safety and emergency communications
- Completed the Texas Statewide Communications Interoperability Plan
- DIR, in collaboration with state agencies, has—
- Established common architectural standards and best practices through shared services
- Streamlined data management and reporting
- Improved data sharing
Statewide Project Delivery
Strategy 4-3: Provide leadership and support for the delivery of the state’s technology projects
- Adopted administrative rules that established statewide requirements for project management practices
- Developed additional educational opportunities to assist agencies in understanding requirements and implementing improvements to project management practices
- Developed a platform to share project management best practices, tools and techniques
Strategy 4-4: Provide leadership and support for multi-level government technology collaboration and partnerships
- Facilitated intergovernmental collaboration
- Promoted strategic partnerships
- Over the past biennium, several state agencies, including the Governor’s Division of Emergency Management, DIR, General Land Office, Railroad Commission, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas Natural Resources Information System, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Department of Transportation, and others have—
- Implemented several beneficial geographic information systems (GIS) web services and shared services
- Developed a better understanding of technological and governance issues for GIS web services
- Converted several data sets to formats that are compatible with GIS web services
- Began preliminary discussions toward developing a plan for GIS web services
Promote Innovation that Adds Value
Objective 5: Deploy value-added technology solutions to meet agency core missions and serve Texas citizens
The state’s shared technology infrastructure provides the foundation needed for agencies to develop innovative solutions that meet their business needs. Agencies’ business priorities drive their technology solutions. The effective delivery of those solutions determines their ultimate value. The following table outlines progress on agency innovations to meet their core missions and serve Texas citizens.
Agency Innovation Centers
Strategy 5-1: Plan and deploy innovative technologies that deliver world class services to Texans.
- Simplified the technology environment
- Employed energy-conserving technologies
- Deployed value-added technology solutions
In the next biennium, the DCS program will continue with consolidations, decommissioning the legacy data centers, and realizing more of the benefits of centrally managed services. Transforming the vast array of different technologies deployed across state government creates significant challenges. Establishing consistency across the enterprise is one of the fundamental tenets and significant opportunities of the DCS program. The DCS Technology Plan documents emerging trends and how the DCS program will implement these technologies through future optimizations. The DCS service levels incorporate continuous improvement. Each year of the program, service levels increase, reflecting expected progress as the service provider team becomes more established. As unit rate costs decrease, Texas will realize even greater economies of scale in the DCS program.
The TEX-AN reprocurement offers both an opportunity and a challenge for developing enterprise-wide communications solutions. Substantial research and outreach conducted during the past biennium have shaped the development of the TEX-AN RFOs to meet the needs of current as well as future customers. DIR will better meet the needs of its customers by simplifying communications technology services acquisition, establishment, and support through managed communication services and a suite of service offerings. The TEX-AN reprocurement will create a marketplace that provides customers and vendors the opportunity to assemble more comprehensive technology solutions using building blocks that can in turn be combined to achieve enhanced business value.
DIR has articulated a vision for the TexasOnline reprocurement project that will result in a wide array of new hosted capabilities that all public sector entities can take advantage of, in a low- or no-cost model. The new contract will establish the next-generation e-government infrastructure that supports DIR’s vision for the TexasOnline of the future and leverages the state’s existing investment in both computing and communications technology infrastructure. These capabilities will allow agencies to use the new TexasOnline platform for a variety of self-directed and self-managed activities, all within the control and security of statewide shared services. By doing so, participating agencies will use a shared architecture that is uniformly controlled and managed based on common standards and best practices.
DIR has placed an increased focus on establishing service contracts that allow customers to obtain equipment through a managed service arrangement rather than an outright purchase. This allows customers to receive upgraded technology without the one-time upfront purchase price associated with owning the equipment. These options will provide DIR customers with the greatest flexibility in planning and budgeting for their technology needs.
Security will continue to be a top priority for protecting citizen and government information and property. For most business and government organizations, major computer security incidents with significant financial and operational impacts have unfortunately become common occurrences. Maintaining the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the state’s information environment will also remain an ongoing challenge for government agencies. DIR recognizes the opportunity to serve as a focal point for privacy issues, and will work with agencies to strengthen their privacy programs and share information on privacy practices across the state.
DIR and state agencies have partnered to achieve significant improvements in enhancing statewide technology management and collaboration to simplify citizen access to government services and information. DIR will continue to create new and expand existing partnerships with other state and local government agencies and public education institutions. Additionally, DIR will continue to participate in technology summits to encourage regional collaboration among local governments and the public education community. These strategic partnerships are a vital component of DIR’s customer service culture. Collaboration will remain paramount as the state continues to implement the technology vision that is transforming state government to best serve Texans.
For Additional Reading
This document is an abridged version of the 2008 Biennial Performance Report: The Texas Transformation: Technology-Driven Value. The full report contains more information on the following:
- Implementing the Texas Transformation
- Leveraging the State’s Investment in Technology
- Protecting, Securing and Safeguarding Assets and Information
- Simplifying Access to Services
- Promoting Innovation that Adds Value
- State Technology Expenditures
- Additional Progress on Statewide Initiatives
The 2008 Biennial Performance Report also contains six separate, statutorily-required reports:
About this Brief
The Information Resources Management Act requires the Texas Department of Information Resources to prepare and submit to the Governor and to the Legislature a biennial performance report on the use of information resources technologies by state government (Texas Government Code § 2054.055). This in-brief edition is an excerpt of the 2008 Biennial Performance Report, The Texas Transformation: Technology-Driven Value.
The report has been distributed in compliance with the State Depository Law and is available for public use through the Texas State Publications Depository Program at the Texas State Library and other state depository libraries.
Note: For the purposes of this report, the term “state agency” is used to indicate a state agency or a state institution of higher education; and the term “technology” is used to indicate “information and communications technologies.”
See the full-length report.