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ITSP: Introduction

COVA Strategic Plan for IT: 2012-2018


Strategic plan for technology website navigation

Welcome to the third edition of the Commonwealth of Virginia (COV) Strategic Plan for Information Technology. The plan presents the commonwealth's information technology strategy for the years 2012-2018, and draws on the previous two editions (covering the years 2002-2006 and 2007-2012 respectively) as well as the Information Technology Advisory Council (ITAC) Technology Business Plan published in December 2011.

This edition of the plan is published as a website to enable timely updates to the resource links and agency examples and allow the plan to remain current and responsive to changes in commonwealth and agency business needs. The plan will be reviewed at the same time agency information technology (IT) strategic plans are reviewed and updated annually as required by Code.

The navigation panel on the right of the screen appears on each web page of the plan and provides navigation to each element of the plan.

Technology and the business of state government

The numerous technology advances in recent years have left commonwealth agencies and citizens alike awash in technology choices. The challenge for both groups is to select technology that helps them achieve their business or personal objectives. For the commonwealth, the fundamental principle that investments in technology are made to support the commonwealth's business priorities remains as central to this Strategic Plan for Technology as it was to the preceding editions and the ITAC Technology Business Plan. Briefly stated, information technology is a means, not an end in itself.

In the sections that follow, this introduction to the 2012-2018 edition of the plan will trace the derivation of technology guidance from the agency mission and programs, through the state government business environment, to identify a set of technology trends and emerge with a set of strategic directions for agencies to consider when planning their technology investments. The business environment will highlight the ITAC Technology Business Plan and its four business environmental factors and five initiatives. The current plan includes descriptions of the four technology environmental factors and seven technology trends identified as having a significant impact on agencies and citizens, a commonwealth goal for utilizing each technology trend, and suggested strategic directions to guide agencies in leveraging the trend to address their business needs.

Business environment and ITAC technology business plan

The flow from the state government business environment to this edition of the plan begins with the mission and programs of the Commonwealth agencies. In September 2011 the Council on Virginia's Future completed a collaborative effort with Cabinet secretaries to arrange the secretaries' designated business priorities according to the Council's seven long-term goals with the publication of the "Commonwealth of Virginia Enterprise Strategic Priorities-Agency Strategic Planning Version."

Also in 2011, ITAC was tasked by the General Assembly to work in consultation with the Council on Virginia's Future to develop a technology business plan. ITAC began by identifying four significant business environmental factors which affect the business plan development and substantially impact how the plan is actually carried out. These factors remain relevant and are described in the environmental factors page. Shaped by these factors and the Commonwealth of Virginia Enterprise Strategic Priorities, the council developed the Technology Business Plan by determining the commonwealth's high-level business priorities and identifying the key initiatives that could become technology focal points in support of those business priorities. The Technology Business Plan five Initiatives are stated below, along with a parenthetical short identifier used elsewhere in this plan:

  • Initiative 1 - Emphasize programs and tools that enable all citizens to interact with government 24x7-safely and securely, and when, how and where they want it. (Citizen access)
  • Initiative 2 - Improve information-sharing to optimize current business functions and supporting systems. (Information sharing)
  • Initiative 3 - Leverage technology to improve worker productivity and make state employment more attractive to the future workforce. (Workforce productivity)
  • Initiative 4 - Support educational attainment initiatives—key to achieving state economic development and quality of life goals. (Support education)
  • Initiative 5 - Expand and support back-office platforms and productivity tools that support Governor's Reform Commission recommendations on streamlining government operations. (Streamline operations)

The relationship between the enterprise strategic priorities, business environmental factors, and the Technology Business Plan and its five initiatives are illustrated below.

ITAC Technology Business Plan

The ITAC Technology Business Plan and the five initiatives therein provide a logical link to, and a business-based platform for, this edition of the COV Strategic Plan for Information Technology.

Technology environment, trends, and strategic directions

Just as the ITAC Technology Business Plan began with consideration of significant environmental factors, so this edition of the COV Strategic Plan for Information Technology begins with identification of technology environmental factors. Based on discussion with Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) and executive branch agency IT leaders, along with ITAC and Information Technology Investment Management (ITIM) Customer Council members, two separate streams emerged for consideration: broad technology environmental factors and specific emerging technology trends. The technology environment factors, described in the environmental factors page, are the increasing pace of technology expansion and change, the "consumerization" of technology, and the emergence of the Internet of Things. This plan considers these three factors likely to have influence the evolution of the technology trends noted in the plan.

The discussions identified seven emerging technology trends that are playing, or likely to play, a role in agency efforts to address the five Technology Business Plan initiatives. The technology trends, along with a parenthetical short identifier used elsewhere in this plan, are:

  • Social Media (SM)
  • Mobility (M)
  • Cybersecurity (CS)
  • Enterprise Information Architecture (EIA)
  • Enterprise Shared Services (ESS)
  • Cloud Computing Services (CSS)
  • Consolidation\Optimization (C\O)

For each trend the plan states a commonwealth goal for leveraging the trend and identifies several strategic directions, specific activities that agencies can use to harness the trend to fulfill the initiatives. Each technology trend is detailed in a separate page. The subsections on each technology trend page contain a description of the trend and the role it can play in fulfilling the initiatives, strategic directions for agency consideration, current examples of agency use of the technology trend, and resource links for further information. The description subsection includes a brief explanation of the technology, key business drivers for considering the technology, how the technology supports achieving the five ITAC initiatives, and the challenges to incorporating the technology into the commonwealth or agency technology portfolio.

The plan recommends 48 strategic directions, activities that the commonwealth and agencies can pursue to leverage the technology trends to address their business needs and the ITAC initiatives. The strategic directions are evenly split between establishing policy and governance to promote use of a technology trend and recommending actions to leverage a specific technology trend. The strategic directions associated with each technology trend are listed under the third tab of each technology trend page, and are summarized in the following table.

Strategic Directions for Each Technology Trend
Technology Trend Number Percent (%)
Social Media 4 8.3
Mobility 8 16.7
Cybersecurity 6 12.5
Enterprise Information Architecture 10 20.8
Enterprise Shared Services 5 10.4
Cloud Computing Services 4 8.3
Consolidation\Optimization 11 23.0

The plan also identifies the strategic directions that support each of the ITAC Business Technology Plan initiatives. The following table summarizes the number of strategic directions associated with each initiative, while the ITAC business technology plan page lists the strategic directions for each initiative.

Strategic Directions Supporting ITAC Initiatives
Initiative Number Percent (%)
1. Citizen Access 18 37.5
2. Information Sharing 11 22.9
3. Workforce Productivity 7 14.6
4. Support Education 5 10.4
5. Streamline Operations 7 14.6

The relationship between the ITAC Technology Business Plan initiatives, business and technology environmental factors, and the technology trends and related strategic directions is summarized in the diagram below.

Strategic Plan for Technology

Next steps

The publication of this edition of the COV Strategic Plan for Information Technology establishes the framework for several follow-up activities, including the following:

Publicize the plan
Through presentations and workshops, publicize the emergence and use of the technology trends and promote consideration of the recommended strategic directions.

Conduct agency capability survey
Survey agencies to assess the importance of the technology trends and strategic directions to their business strategies and their current and desired capability to use the technology trends and implement the strategic directions.

Develop an implementation plan
Build on the results of the Capability Survey to develop a prioritized plan for implementing the strategic directions deemed most important to the commonwealth and agency business strategies.


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