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Improving California's IT Infrastructure

Among the report's recommendations for wiping out the deficit within five years is a wide range of suggestions for improving California's IT infrastructure while cutting costs. For one thing, the report says, the government could boost productivity by 40 percent to 75 percent simply by processing more forms electronically and publishing more information on the Internet. In fact, the report itself was distributed over the Web. Most of the suggested productivity improvements aren't revolutionary--the state government is still catching up with the private sector. Still, it's unusual to see such a broad range of IT cost-saving proposals in one place.

For example, the report says California's government could garner significant savings from centralizing and consolidating networks and using voice over IP. In addition to citing VoIP's hard dollar savings, the report points out benefits such as integrated audioconferencing and built-in caller ID. The report implies that the state could use existing networking resources to support VoIP traffic by taking advantage of efficiencies in bandwidth utilization. The report also wisely suggests a VoIP pilot to assess the impact of such a deployment.

Additionally, the report suggests open-source software as a means of cutting IT costs. In fact, it indicates that the state has completed several open-source pilots that demonstrate significant savings.

Although most of the recommendations in the report aren't cutting-edge, they reflect a thorough assessment of the role of IT and how it can be improved, which is an exercise every enterprise should undertake. See if any of the report's recommendations apply to your own organization. If they do, take action--or risk facing the terminator.