Public CIO - Application Consolidation - Where the Real Savings Is

(27-Jun-11) As CIOs work through the thorny issues involved in consolidating IT hardware and personnel, another challenge appears on the horizon: dealing with the “application bloat” that has built up within agencies over the years.

In 2009, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick issued an executive order to consolidate all executive IT operations. Curtis Wood, CIO of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS), is charged with combining the IT programs and staff of 14 different agencies ranging from the Parole Board to fire services to emergency management.

As Wood surveyed the applications in use, he saw plenty of opportunities for streamlining and cost savings. “Why have 14 different inventory asset management or fleet management applications?” he asked. “In the e-learning arena, we have many different applications in use in the agencies — or in some cases, none at all. We think we can save money and provide a consistent platform.”

After several months of planning work with agency stakeholders, Wood’s application consolidation team is doing an inventory of all applications and determining where to host them. The enterprise applications, those that are statewide or public-facing, are being shifted to the public safety data center. “We are already realizing cost savings on licensing and physical support,” he said. “We are reducing maintenance costs while increasing security and temperature control.” The team has also worked with Oracle and Microsoft on licensing flexibility. (A public dashboard wiki for the EOPSS IT consolidation project is available at

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