The Governor’s Administration is advancing the state’s information technology system into the 21st Century amid a major push to modernize a technology infrastructure that has components predating Microsoft’s Windows Operating Systems. Currently, customers that work with the state wait months to receive proper permits and licenses to business in the state. By overhauling the state’s “IT” systems, wait times will go from months to weeks, or even days in some cases.
The state’s Chief Information Officer Hardik Bhatt was joined by the agency heads of the Department of Corrections (IDOC) and Department Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) to talk about the efforts that have been achieved since Executive Order 16-01 was signed on Jan. 25.
A four-tiered transformational approach is being used;
- Cultural Transformation – moving out of “silos” to make state agencies work and talk with each other easier.
- Operational Transformation – more than 400 outdated systems run the state’s core functions. As an example, it takes four different systems for an agency to order paperclips.
- Customer Service Transformation – making Illinois more customer-based in order to allow more functions to be done on-line and via mobile device platforms.
- Organizational Transformation – moving the state’s 1,700 “IT” professionals under one organizational umbrella for a more functional “command and control” structure and to ensure better communication.
More than 1.1 million Illinoisans are subject to professional licensure under hundreds of activities that are regulated by the agency and in response, the department has moved to an online-basis for licensing. The modern approach will allow business professionals to achieve faster results by tracking their licensing applications via the Department’s new Web site and in coming months, the agency will have a mobile device platform available.
The Department of Corrections has successfully launched the “Offender 360” program, which allows IDOC staff to track and maintain more current records on more than 45,000 inmates currently in custody. The oldest mainframes in the IDOC inventory date back to the administration of the late-Governor Dan Walker. “Offender 360” also allows for a more holistic approach to inmate management, which will lead to better outcomes and help reduce recidivism.
The newest IDOC “IT” upgrades replace an outdated 1970s mainframe technology to more modern “cloud-based” systems. The “Offender 360” new rollout comes after two previously-failed attempts under former Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration.