The Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT), formed by Executive Order in 2016, is now officially recognized as a state agency under a new law signed July 20.
House Bill 5611 passed unanimously in both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly this spring, codifying into law the agency, which is responsible for delivering statewide information technology and telecommunication services and innovation to state government agencies, boards and commissions. Bipartisan support for the legislation reflects the state’s commitment to improve cybersecurity, increase transparency and save taxpayer dollars through a more modern and efficient government technological and communications infrastructure.
“When we first came into office, we discovered that our technology systems had been grossly neglected. Employees at multiple agencies relied on manual, paper processes for much of their work. That was extremely inefficient,” Gov. Bruce Rauner said. “We created DoIT, put a team of experts in place and developed a comprehensive approach to modernize our technology. Now, I’m proud to say we are among the nation’s leaders when it comes to using smart technology and making sure our citizens’ personal information is secure.”
“Illinois’ digital transformation is being realized as a result of Gov. Rauner’s vision and leadership,” said DoIT Acting Secretary and State Chief Information Officer Kirk Lonbom. “We’re making rapid strides toward improving operational efficiencies and offering state services through the convenience of mobility, while placing the security of data and operations at the foundation of all initiatives.”
“For decades, the state relied on software systems that were decades old and nearly every state department had its own, independently operated IT infrastructure. This system obviously led to inefficiencies and redundancies,” said State Sen. Pamela Althoff, R-McHenry. “Unifying the state’s systems will ultimately help state employees deliver services more efficiently and will increase accessibility for residents.”
Cybersecurity has been a priority for DoIT. Since its inception, the agency has encrypted more than 5.8 billion records, protecting the personal and private information of Illinois citizens. DoIT launched the first statewide security operations center with 24/7 monitoring aimed at identifying risk and proactively responding to cyberthreats.
Staff members at DoIT also have focused on streamlining state operations and improving efficiencies across state agencies. Over half of the state’s financials are now managed on a common system to address decades of lack of interoperability and financial management challenges. Infrastructure and network unification efforts in Illinois have already resulted in savings and cost-avoidance of over $20 million.
Through its Smart State initiative, DoIT also is helping local governments use SMART technology (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology) on things like street lighting — which cuts down on energy costs and saves taxpayer dollars.
These efforts are being applauded by national experts.
“The State of Illinois’ move towards consolidation, its development of a Smart State strategy, and the exploration of emerging technologies like blockchain all illustrate advancements we applaud for a government technology organization,” said Doug Robinson, executive director of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers.
For additional information, please see the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology strategy at https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/doit/Strategy/EnterpriseStrategies/Pages/default.aspx.