Since 1973, when the Bureau of Computer Services was created, Kentucky has been very innovative in its strategy about information technology. Kentucky was considered a leader of the nation in 1978 with a single, centralized data center, a state-wide emergency warning system in 1979, a centralized Office of Geographic Information in 1992, and a centralized email system for state government in 1998.
Today, Kentucky’s Commonwealth Office of Technology (COT) is a recognized leader in many areas of information technology but there is always room for improvement because technology never stands still. In formulating the current strategic plan, COT builds upon past successes but also sets clear new direction toward a more customer-centric and transparent organization that is fully aware of its role as a steward of the state’s vast volumes of data and understands it has the responsibility to assure its citizens and business entities that their data is safe and secure with the Commonwealth.
We believe we must focus on the following four major business drivers during the coming biennium. These drivers and the supporting goals outlined within this plan align COT with the Governor Bevin’s overall goals for the Commonwealth.
Business Drivers for IT in Kentucky
1. Improve Kentucky's Position in the Digital Economy
To improve Kentucky's position in the 21st century digital economy and grow the number of high-tech companies in Kentucky, the state must increase both the number of Kentucky households with computers and its citizen use of the Internet. To achieve these worthy objectives Kentucky must: Increase computer use of our citizens, increase the level and number of eGovernment offerings available for citizens to use, and increase the availability and affordability of broadband in the state.
2. Reduce Costs and Improve Efficiency
IT costs are rising at an unprecedented rate as demand for IT services increases. While the state's current budget included more IT spending than any previous budget, the increase in spending alone cannot meet the rising demand. To gain the maximum benefits from our IT expenditures we must make wise IT investments and improve the efficiency of our service delivery. This is critical since it can help avoid the need for Cabinets to divert an ever-increasing percentage of operating expenses from their core businesses to fund IT operations.
3. Improve IT Services
Just as Kentucky is striving to offer more offerings of eGovernment applications for citizen and business use, we must improve the level of IT services we provide to our customers, the rest of state government. Bringing more services to employees in the form of simpler, more interoperable systems, standard equipment and software interfaces, web based applications, self-service offerings, digital signatures, more responsive workflow, and quicker and predictive response to desktop computer and network problems will lead directly to improvements in productivity, job satisfaction and delivery of government services to citizens.
4. Enhance IT Security
The increasing complexity and proliferation of computing systems and the increasing reliance on data requires a new approach to security. Numerous Federal laws have been enacted in recent years to ensure that we properly safeguard information accumulated in government and private computer systems. The cost of losing data or losing access to data, even for short periods of time, continues to rise. Threats include phishing, denial of service, attacks on firewalls, viruses, spyware, theft of service and records, inappropriate use of government networks, and spam. The largest threat remains inappropriate use and disregard for established procedures by our own employees. We must have a strong centrally managed defense in the form of network security, identity management, controlled role-based access to applications and data stores, remote backup of our storage and applications, and controls on physical access to the locations where data is stored and processed.
As we strive to meet the challenges posed by these business drivers, we must consider what we are best able to execute from a central IT organization. The following are our identified core competencies:
• One IT Team in the Commonwealth - building a cohesive IT team embracing and drive change, enhancing communication, collaborating, and developing partnerships.
• Customer Service - empowering individuals and organizations to provide quality service in a fair and timely manner.
• Being Constituent-focused - aligning information technology services to meet agencies' business needs.
• Professionalism - treating others with honesty, respect, integrity and fostering openness and trust.
• Being Forward Thinking - embracing continuous improvement and adaptability.
COT is an organization who is committed to the success of the Commonwealth and unified by a common set of core values that outline and define our organizational beliefs. COT has offices throughout Frankfort and employees located throughout the Commonwealth to maintain our Kentucky Information Highway (KIH2) infrastructure and the critical Kentucky Emergency Warning System (KEWS).
We are dedicated to our one common goal; to be the leader in the use of information technology to enhance government services, improve decision making in order to promote efficiency and eliminate waste.