|OKLAHOMA'S eGOV NEWS REPORT|
Welcome to Oklahoma's eGovernment News Report. We hope you enjoy the monthly report providing you with up-to-date information on Oklahoma's eGovernment achievements.
OKLAHOMA CITY – May 18, 2011 – The Oklahoma State Board of Cosmetology recently released a new application at cosmorenewal.ok.gov, which allows licensed cosmetologists across the state to renew their license online.
“We want to make renewing a license as pain-free as possible,” said Oklahoma State Board of Cosmetology Executive Director, Sherry Lewelling. “You just go to our site, fill out your information, and as soon as your application is approved, we will send you a new license. It’s that easy!”
This year, the OSBC expects most cosmetology licensees to renew online, because submitting online will save licensees time by speeding up what previously was a paper-intensive process. A typical online renewal takes about five minutes to complete, and licensees can print a renewal verification at the end of the process. In conjunction with their license renewal, a licensee will be able to change their contact information, purchase a certificate of record, certificate of hours and/or a Rule Book.
For more information about the Oklahoma State Board of Cosmetology, visit cosmo.ok.gov. The Web site and services are a product of a partnership between the OSBC and OK.gov, Oklahoma’s Official Website managed by the eGovernment firm, NIC Inc. (Nasdaq: EGOV)
May 25, 2011 By Matt Williams
As recently as a few weeks ago, a proposed consolidation and modernization of Oklahoma’s IT systems was in doubt.
Despite backing from Gov. Mary Fallin, who said the state’s technology systems were “outdated eight-track bureaucracies in an iPod world,” some lawmakers were skeptical the effort would result in cost savings and efficiencies. The legislation, House Bill 1304, was stalled as the legislative session wound down.
Alex Pettit, Oklahoma’s state CIO, said Wednesday he feared that there was no better than a 50-50 chance the consolidation would move forward. But he and the governor ultimately got their wish Tuesday, May 24, when Fallin announced she signed the legislation.
The bill centralizes policymaking, procurement and decision-making into the CIO’s office in an attempt to streamline the state’s hardware, software and storage. Pettit conceded that Oklahoma has a long journey ahead to meet the consolidation’s aims. But the legislation was a necessary first step.
Now all agencies are mandated to participate, which Pettit said is important for the consolidation to be successful. “Either we’re all in, or nobody is in,” he said. First up likely will be e-mail and mainframe consolidation, Pettit said. The state will be teaming with Microsoft to merge 129 e-mail servers scattered across state agencies.
It remains to be seen if the state will take advantage of cloud-based services for e-mail, he said. The state currently has seven mainframes, and needs the computing power of only one of them. The state released a feasibility study in April that found redundancy across the state enterprise, including 76 financial systems, 22 unique time and attendance systems, 17 different imaging systems, 48 reporting and analytics applications and 30 data center locations. The report estimated that consolidation and modernization could significantly reduce the state’s $233 million in annual IT spending.
Much work remains to be done, though, to consolidate those systems. The state is continuing to inventory agencies’ IT assets and has to hammer out the initiative’s governance, which will probably include a steering committee, Pettit said. The consolidation will move forward agency by agency, he said, by first optimizing servers and e-mail. The goal is to make these improvements with existing resources and without extra funding.
Pettit said it’s hard to predict where the state will be a year from now, but he said Fallin and the legislature’s leadership should be credited for making IT transformation a top priority. Pettit concedes that the clock has started. After being retained from the previous administration, he’s now expected to bring results.
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OK.gov is the official website of the state of Oklahoma and a collaborative effort between the Oklahoma Office of State Finance (OSF) and Oklahoma Interactive, LLC to help Oklahoma government entities Web-enable their information services. OSF is responsible for OK.gov. Oklahoma Interactive operates, maintains, and markets OK.gov and is part of eGovernment firm NIC’s (NASDAQ: EGOV) family of companies.
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