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Chapter 3 - The Evolution of Enterprise IT Governance in New York State

While enterprise IT governance in New York State is not new, it is evolving. Over the past ten years New York, like many other states, initiated its governance structure from a policy perspective to guide information technology decisions. This chapter provides an overview of the evolution of New York’s enterprise IT governance to its current state, where it is continuing to evolve (See Table 3 for a list of the current IT governance components).

In 1996, Governor Pataki created the state’s first body with responsibility to develop policy to guide information technology decisions across state government: the Governor’s Task Force on Information Resource Management (IRM). 21 The Task Force was established to facilitate a more streamlined process for doing business with and within New York State. The policies generated during the early years of this task force focused on the development of an IT strategic plan, setting standards, and identifying critical initiatives that would move the state forward in terms of information use. Another responsibility of the Governor’s Task Force on IRM was to coordinate acquisitions among agencies to ensure compatibility and the best value. Members of the Task Force were also asked to recommend initiatives that would take full advantage of the technological opportunities available at the time and result in streamlining services and reducing costs.

In 1997, the Governor’s Task Force on IRM became the Office for Technology (OFT) through Technology Law §101 – §107.22 In section §104 of that statute, the New York State Legislature called for an Advisory Council for Technology to guide the director of OFT. The purpose of this body, as defined in the law, was to review and comment on all rules and regulations created by OFT; provide guidance and support to the director of OFT in the development of any statewide plan for further development and improvement of the state's technology acquisitions; and recommend surveys and reports to be completed by the director to carry out all of the objectives and purposes of the article. To date, this Advisory Council has never been convened.

Table 3
Components of IT Governance in New York State
Text from Law or Document
Technology Policy 96-1
Governor’s Task Force on Information Resource Management.
The Governor's Task Force on Information Resource Management (IRM) has been convened. Membership includes executives from the Departments of Social Services, Motor Vehicles, Environmental Conservation, Correctional Services, Health, Labor, Taxation and Finance, the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities and the Division of Criminal Justice Services. Ex-officio members from the Department of Law, Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Budget and Office of General Services are also represented. James G. Natoli chairs the Task Force.

  • The goal of the Task Force is to design and implement a statewide policy for the management of information which makes doing business with and within the State easier, faster and less costly. Specifically, the Task Force will: Develop a strategic plan which outlines where the State's IRM capabilities should be in several years, and set the standards and identify the critical initiatives for getting there;
  • Establish statewide policies and practices for all new enabling technologies and to secure major cross-agency linkages;
  • Coordinate IRM acquisitions among agencies to ensure government-wide compatibility and to leverage the best value in the market;
  • Recommend savings initiatives that take full advantage of technological opportunities to streamline services and make them more user-friendly.
Improve the Request for Proposal process to guarantee projects come in on time and on budget, make full use of performance contracts, and reflect creative cost-sharing and funding vehicles;

Review/Discuss potential government applications with leading public and private experts, and test new systems development projects on a prototype basis; and,

Address a host of related issues such as developing a statewide inventory of surplus equipment, identifying best practices among agencies for possible statewide application, and designing new ways to secure and protect information.
Technology Law 102
Office of Technology
The Office for Technology is hereby created within the executive department to have and exercise the functions, powers and duties provided by the provisions of this article and any other provision of law.

The head of the office shall be the director of the office, who shall serve as the chief technology officer for the state of New York and shall be designated as management confidential in the noncompetitive class in accordance with the civil service law. The director shall be the chief executive officer of and in sole charge of the administration of the office.

The director shall be entitled to receive reimbursement for expenses actually and necessarily incurred by him or her in the performance of his or her duties.
Technology Law 104
Advisory Council for Technology
There shall be within the office, an advisory council for technology. The director of the office shall serve as chair of the council. The council shall be composed of a minimum of nine information resource management directors or their equivalent appointed by the governor.

The governor's appointments shall be selected from state agencies. In addition, one shall be appointed upon recommendation of the temporary president of the senate and one shall be appointed upon the recommendation of the speaker of the assembly.

The members of the council shall receive no compensation for their services, but shall be allowed their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties
Executive Order 117
Office of the CIO
Establishment of the Office of the Chief Information Officer of the state of NY, whose responsibilities include:
  1. Overseeing and supervising the management and operations of Office for Technology
  2. Overseeing, directing, and coordinating the establishment of information technology policies, protocols, and standards for State Government, including hardware, software, security and business re-engineering;
  3. Overseeing and coordinating the development, acquisition, deployment and management of information technology resources for State government;
  4. Developing strategies to improve the State workforce’s ability to employ needed information technologies, and overseeing and coordinating the implementation of such strategies;
  5. Coordinating and facilitating information sharing between and among state government, local government, other states, the federal government and institutions of higher learning to promote the use and deployment of information technology that will improve the delivery of government services; and
  6. Working with State government, local governments, the federal government, institutions of higher learning and private enterprises to further the State Technology Strategic.
CIO/OFT Roadmap 2010
Establish an Executive IT Strategic Council to provide strategic oversight for effective plan execution

In 2002, Governor Pataki appointed the first chief information officer for New York State and created the Office of the CIO (OCIO) through Executive Order #117.23 The executive order establishes the office and established the authority of the CIO drawing on Technology Law §101 – §107. In November of 2002, the state’s first CIO convened the first New York State CIO Council. The CIO Council was created to provide a framework for IT governance for NYS as described in Gartner’s first person case study, Enterprise IT Governance: The New York State Approach.24 The charge of the CIO Council was to “establish and maintain a new information culture of enterprise collaboration.”25 The CIO Council was comprised of representatives from 85 executive branch agencies and authorities and seven local governments. Each executive branch agency was invited to identify a representative to the CIO Council. The Council included seven standing committees: Leadership, Technology, Security, Human Resources, Fiscal/Procurement, Strategic Planning, and Intergovernmental Communications. All committee membership was voluntary, with the exception of the Leadership Committee, and each standing committee had two chairs, chosen by the OCIO. The Gartner case study articulated eight Critical Success Factors to guide the Council in meeting their charge. These eight success factors outline an approach that seems to reflect an understanding of the importance of engaging executives and control agencies in the strategic planning process, engaging members of the CIO Council in the policy making process, and providing oversight of complex enterprise initiatives as needed.

Eight Success Factors to Guide the First CIO Council
  1. Gain unstinting support from senior administration officials.
  2. Work with control agencies and member organizations to create a statewide strategic technology plan.
  3. Charge CIO Council Committee co-chairs with implementing the strategic plan.
  4. Derive committee membership entirely from CIO Council volunteers.
  5. Take policies and approaches, as they are developed, to the general CIO Council for discussion and endorsement.
  6. Accept the simple majority for approval, as an unanimous agreement is not required.
  7. Convene an ad hoc meeting of the CIO Council Leadership Committee when reality checks are required for particularly complex enterprise issues.
  8. Accomplish day-to-day governance through the efforts of the CIO Council peer reviews operating under the authority of the OCIO.

These success factors framed the state’s initial thinking about enterprise IT Governance and the various entities who would be involved. The State CIO’s 2004 New York State Information Technology Strategic Plan outlined the creation of an Information Technology Investment Board that would have as members the State CIO, representatives from the Division of Budget, the Office for Technology, the Office of General Services, the Department of Civil Service, and the Office of Cyber Security and Critical Infrastructure Coordination. This Board was charged with reviewing strategic IT procurements and related resource allocations from an enterprise perspective to ensure consistency with the state’s strategic plan. The Board was to identify collaborative opportunities and assist agencies in using their resources in the most efficient manner. The Board, as it is described in the 2004 CIO/OFT Strategic Plan, “would have the authority to halt IT procurements or practices that [were] not consistent with the New York State Information Technology Strategic Plan.”26 However, despite the 2004 announcement of the Board, our research produced no evidence that this body ever formally convened or became operational.

In 2007, the State CIO combined the Office of the CIO and the Office for Technology into a single organization with the State CIO also acting as the director of OFT. This merger was accomplished through Policy Bulletin #NYS-P08-002.27 The combined office, now referred to as the New York State Office of the Chief Information Officer and the New York State Office for Technology (CIO/OFT), continues to pursue the original missions of OFT and OCIO.

In addition, the new State CIO made changes to the organization of the CIO Council: the title, scope, and membership of the standing committees all changed. The standing committees are now referred to as Action Teams. The original seven standing committee names have been changed to Enterprise Architecture and Technical Standards; Enterprise Strategic Planning and Implementation; Process Improvements and Performance Management; Procurement, Sourcing and Vendor Relationship; Security and Risk Management; Strategic Alliances; and Workforce Development. The current management structure of the CIO Council changed from a separate subcommittee to a group made up of the Deputy CIO for Enterprise Strategy and Governance Services for CIO/OFT and the Action Team Co-Chairs. The content areas of the Action Teams are very similar to the past standing committees, but the purpose and autonomy of the teams differ from that of the previous committees. While the standing committees had acted as advisory groups for the OCIO, the Action Teams have become more task-oriented bodies. Each Action Team still has two co-chairs assigned by the State CIO, but an OFT staff member is also assigned to each Action Team to act as a liaison with CIO/OFT.

In 2008, Plan 2010 - Going From Good To Great: CIO/OFT Strategic Roadmap outlined the creation of an Executive IT Strategic Council as way to provide strategic oversight for effective plan execution.28 This Council was to be made up of agency executives in order to gather input about the agencies’ business needs in terms of IT. To date this Council has not been convened.

As of July 2009, membership of the CIO Council is very similar to the Council created in 2002. The current CIO Council convenes quarterly and has 88 CIOs as members, with 77 CIOs from state agencies and authorities and 11 local government CIOs. According to its members, the overall scope of the Council has shifted slightly to serve more as an information sharing platform for CIO/OFT, rather than as a forum for state and local CIOs to act as advisory partners to the State CIO.

22NYS Technology Law 101 – 107
24Dillon, J.T. & Mittleman, M.R. Enterprise IT Governance: The New York State Approach (Garner: 2004). Retrieved from (Link was inactive on August 24 2009).
25Dillon & Mittleman, 1.
26NYS Office of the CIO. New York State Information Strategic Plan
27NYS CIO/OFT Policy Number NYS-P08-002
28NYS CIO/OFT, Plan 2010, 4.