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A STRATEGIC PLAN FOR THE ACQUISITION AND USE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
FOR THE CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU

Updated September 2004

PURPOSE:

To insure that the direction and strategies relative to the acquisition and use of Information Technology (IT) are supportive of the needs, and consistent with the long and short range business goals of the City.

BUSINESS GOALS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE CITY

One of the Mayor's goals for the City is "To be the best run City in the nation based upon values of customer services, streamlined operations, use of technology, and a quality work environment." This statement serves as the basis for the following business goals and objectives of the City:

  1. Increase the quality of services provided to the public.
  2. Increase worker productivity.
  3. Lower the cost of government.

THE DIRECTION FOR UTILIZING INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IN THE CITY

Since 1998 the City has embraced the use of technology as the means of providing quality services to the public in an effective and cost efficient manner. All of the business goals and needs of the City are achievable through the use of technology. Therefore, the IT direction of the city must continue to include the selection of the necessary technologies and support infrastructure which will meet the needs of the City in attaining its business goals. The IT direction of the City shall continue to promote:

  1. The utilization of Internet and Intranet based technologies as a means of doing City business, both internally and also with the public.
  2. The utilization of technologies to reduce the creation, use and storage of paper within the city. ("workflow")
  3. The utilization of technologies that enable inter and intra departmental electronic work flow processes to replace manual paper related work processes.
  4. The utilization of technologies to enable public access to city information and services on a 7 day and 24 hour (7x24) basis.
  5. The utilization of technologies to enable credit, debit card and electronic check usage for on line bill payments and purchases.
  6. Continued enforcement of City-wide technical standards to assure inter and intra departmental compatibility for the purposes of electronic communications and the sharing of data and information. Additionally, enforced standards will continue to lower training costs, hardware and software acquisition costs, maintenance costs, and technical support costs (these are normally referred to as Total Cost of Ownership {TCO}).
  7. Centralized management control of all IT related resources.

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY UTILIZATION

The goals and objectives of information technology utilization are to enable the city and its workforce to meet the stated business goals and objectives of the city. As such, information technology shall continue be used to:

  1. Provide electronic access to city services thereby enabling the public to conduct city business, 7x24, from a computer located anywhere in the world. This is being accomplished by utilizing the Internet as the means of providing City information, as well as processing public forms and, credit card and e-check purchases and bill payments.
  2. Increase worker efficiency and productivity through the introduction of electronic work flow technologies for the creation, processing, and storage of internal forms, documents and reports.
  3. Implement and enforce Citywide Technology standards which will assure intra and inter agency compatibility in the use, access, and sharing of information and data. In this way, the city will be able to reduce costs associated with technical support and training.
  4. Through central management of the City's computer resources, the city can realize benefits associated with volume purchases of hardware, software, and maintenance. Centralization and consolidation of resources will enable the city to lower costs of operations by reducing some of the redundancies associated with decentralized management.

STRATEGY FOR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY INVESTMENTS

With the universal acceptance and advancements in technology, there are literally hundreds of vendors and products in the marketplace, each offering a solution to meet one's business needs. New vendors and products are introduced and marketed on a daily basis. In light of the rapidly changing and innovative technologies available in the market place, the City must protect its investments in technology through wise and prudent actions. Investments in technology shall be made with the following consideration:

        Selection and utilization of widely used and industry accepted technologies to reduce developmental costs, to enable the city to select from the largest number of available products and vendors, and to assure the likelihood of success.

        City will invest in and utilize state-of-the-art technology, not leading edge technology.

        City will seek to protect its investments in technology by selecting vendors with a proven track record and market share.

        Develop citywide technology standards which promotes intra and inter agency communications compatibility, data sharing capability, and lowers cost of ownership.

INVESTMENT GUIDELINES FOR THE ACQUISITION OF TECHNOLOGY

All Agencies are required to receive approval from the Department of Information Technology (DIT) for all computer technology related investments prior to submittal for Budget consideration. Investments must meet the IT Master Plan guidelines and be centralized under DIT's IT management.  These investments include purchasing or leasing of computer hardware, software and the hiring and utilization of private contractors or consultants. In planning IT investments, departments should keep the following in mind:

        Investments in automation should not be made merely to do things faster but instead, to do things better - more efficiently and effectively. Therefore before the project approvals are given, there should be clear indications that process re-engineering has taken place.

        Investments in technology must be supported by planned return on investment (ROI) projections.

        Technical approval for subsequent year funding of multi-year projects will not be given unless the planned goals of the previous phases have been attained.

        Agencies should plan to utilize off the shelf software, wherever and whenever possible.

        Customization of software packages should be considered only after all attempts at process re-engineering have been exhausted.

        Internal development of applications software by the City should be the last resort, and considered only after determining that off the shelf software is not a viable alternative or not otherwise available.

DEPARTMENTAL INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY PLANNING

Requests for technological support continue to rise, fueled by citywide staff reductions, lower operational funding levels, and rapid advancements in technology. There are currently more requests for technical alternatives and solutions than DIT is able to support and also more than the City is reasonably able to fund. Therefore the City currently prioritizes its investments in technology, and DIT will first fund those projects which not only assist the work efforts of agencies, but those that provide the biggest return on investment to the City.

To enable DIT to plan and support the technological needs of the city, user agencies are required, in consultation with DIT, to prepare, prioritize, and submit their long range technology plans to DIT.  Agencies are provided the opportunity to modify their plans on an annual basis to reflect change, additions, or project re-prioritization.

DIT will consolidate all of the proposed projects of the individual Departments for final consideration and approval for funding and implementation in consultation with the Managing Director and Chief Budget Officer.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY STANDARDS

The IT industry is evolving rapidly and it is not uncommon to find technical obsolescence in hardware and software occurring in less than two years. The City therefore seeks to leverage its investments in technology by insuring that its IT hardware, software, and support infrastructure lends itself to evolutionary changes in technology. This is accomplished through the adoption of widely accepted industry standards, and by utilizing technologies offered and supported by market leaders within the industry.

The setting of standards which are aligned with marketplace direction, market share, and with analysis provided by well-respected research institutes will help to implement and manage modern technology in City offices in a cost efficient manner. By supporting selected open industry standards and by applying appropriate proven state-of-the-art information technology, the City will continue to:

  1. Ensure that its legacy systems coexist with future systems.
  2. Incorporate new technology while minimizing disruption to other City business.
  3. Provide city agencies the flexibility to choose from a large number of compliant products and providers that fit into the "workflow" plan. (see #4)
  4. Ensure compatibility in the management and sharing of information resources within and among all city agencies.

Established standards enable reputable vendors to compete for a larger well-defined citywide market and this results in volume discounts when purchasing hardware and software. Standards also ensure compatibility, and lower the City's total cost of ownership (TCO) through:

  1. Lower equipment maintenance and inventory costs.
  2. Lower technical support costs and increased systems availability to all users as a result of faster and simpler problem diagnosis and resolution.
  3. Reduced training and educational investment (re-training costs).
  4. Added useful life of equipment through intra-agency and inter-agency relocation.

COMPLIANCE TO STANDARDS

All City Departments and Agencies are expected to comply with City standards. In instances where user requirements cannot be satisfied by existing standards, prior approval for the acquisition and implementation must be obtained from the Department of Information Technology.

Those agencies that prior to 1998 invested significantly in technology not in compliance with City standards have had this equipment/software phased out and their long and short term needs adjusted accordingly.

City standards are periodically reviewed and re-evaluated by the Department of Information Technology to ensure that they reflect both the needs of the city as well as innovations in technology.

Exceptions to City standards will be considered on a case by case basis and only after it has been determined that the requirements of the user cannot be met by complying with City standards.

Last Reviewed: Monday, May 09, 2011