Hawaiʻi's Technology Community


The state today released a report detailing its information technology (IT) assessment, a critical component in the Abercrombie Administration’s long-term plan to transform technology. 

The assessment, which includes a Baseline Assessment and Benchmarking Report, was conducted by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in close collaboration with all state departments.  The assessment is the first phase of the state’s multi-year initiative to modernize its information technology and information resource management (IRM) systems.  The goal of the state’s technology transformation initiative is to make government more efficient and improve services for the people of Hawai'i while reducing costs.

“The massive undertaking to bring the technology of government into the 21st century is critical to our commitment to transform government,” Governor Neil Abercrombie said. “This first-of-its-kind assessment of the state’s IT assets, policies and procedures is a major milestone for Hawai'i under the leadership of our new Chief Information Officer, Sanjeev ‘Sonny’ Bhagowalia. The findings and recommendations in this report give us the basis for moving forward with confidence.”  

The report explains that the state’s budget reductions over the last decade and lack of centralized governance of IT and IRM have resulted in minimal integration of business processes between departments, duplication of efforts and redundant processes, and aging legacy systems. Furthermore, the state’s current level of investment on IT and IRM is inadequate compared to benchmark standards found in other states and existing best-practices.

Along with the SAIC report, Governor Abercrombie today issued an Administrative Directive to all Executive Branch Department Heads announcing that – with the exception of the University of Hawai’i, the Department of Education, and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs – the CIO and Office of Information Management and Technology (OIMT) has authority over the design and implementation of all Executive Branch IT infrastructure, IRM, and shared services.  

In addition, the Administrative Directive designates Deputy Comptroller Jan Gouveia as Business Transformation Executive to recommend business process reengineering projects to the Governor with the overall goal of streamlining business processes, increasing efficiencies, reducing duplication of efforts and improving delivery of services.

Under the leadership of Bhagowalia and Gouveia, the state will now develop a comprehensive strategic plan for statewide information management and technology based on the information reported by SAIC. The plan and architecture is anticipated to be delivered in July 2012.

“A complete transformation of technology – from where we are today to where we want to be –will probably take eight to 10 years of working collaboratively with all stakeholders to realize the full benefits,” Bhagowalia said. “However, our actions will fundamentally change the way the government works in Hawaii. Given the state’s budget constraints, we need to prioritize our next steps in order to maximize the funding opportunities and resources that currently exist.”

While developing the statewide strategic plan and enterprise architecture over the next nine months, Bhagowalia will also immediately embark on the following initiatives:

  • Develop statewide IT governance to establish the framework for the new IT strategy, including policies, standards, architecture requirements and IT investment oversight.
  • Prioritize business process reengineering projects and implement performance changes.
  • Identify opportunities for statewide data center and disaster recovery solutions.

The Baseline Assessment and Benchmarking Report, along with the Governor’s Administrative Directive, can be found at the OIMT website:


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Comment by Daniel Leuck on September 30, 2011 at 11:02am
Hey Jocelyn - Thats great to hear. We've never seen the state so engaged with the community. Clearly tech at the state level is moving in a good direction!
Comment by Jocelyn Collado on September 30, 2011 at 9:37am
Hi Mika. As we move forward with the strategic plan and its implementation, we'll be working with all departments to ensure that the State leverages and maximize its resources. UH and the DOE have already been more than supportive and continue to be very collaborative, we don't anticipate anything less in the future. I know Sonny and the rest of the OIMT team appreciate your words of support.
Comment by Mika Leuck on September 29, 2011 at 6:50pm
Aloha e Josh. Thank you for responding to my comment. I think its great that our governor created this office and filled it with a qualified person. I also think its great that you cared enough to post it on TechHui. You are the first governor's office to have done so. In general, this plan sounds great and the audit mentioned is sorely needed. I'm happy that UH and the DoE were involved in the discussions, but in my opinion, the state CIO should be in charge of information and technology for all departments and instrumentalities of the state. We shouldn't let old bureaucracy and politics block the way forward.
Comment by Daniel Leuck on September 29, 2011 at 4:53pm
Mika +1. Sonny is great, but he has to be in charge of all the state's IT for us to get our dollar's worth. Despite these exceptions, Neil has done the state a favor by finally giving us a CIO.
Comment by Josh Levinson on September 29, 2011 at 4:44pm
Hi Mika, great question.  DOE and UH are included in both the plan and will also be a part of the Deputy Comproller's efforts to re-engineer business's just that, for legal and structural reasons, they can't be "required" to report to the CIO on these efforts.  But the Superintendent and UH Pres have been involved at every step of the process.  Check out the administrative directive and reports -- they're totally involved.
Comment by Cameron Souza on September 29, 2011 at 4:40pm
Mika - +1
Comment by Mika Leuck on September 29, 2011 at 4:38pm
This sounds like a great plan although I wish the DOE, OHA and the UH system were part of it. Why where they excluded? In general, I'm very happy we have a state CIO and Sonny seems like a great choice.


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