What we Know About IT in California

“Instead of coordinating resources, departments and agencies develop projects in silos, with a stretched workforce and growing reliance on more costly outside contractors. The diffused authority and responsibility can result in poor public outcomes and missed opportunities to share applications, share data, and consolidate similar business functions.” ~ Little Hoover Commission, “A New Legacy System,”  11/2008.

The last year has revealed a number of things about the state of technology in California government. We know that the state has the potential to reach the height of achievement in information technology projects. We have also learned that these successes bring recognition to California and improve our government’s operations.

We have a preponderance of anecdotes that demonstrate the potential that California possesses, and, if we take a broader survey of California’s IT landscape, we get a clearer picture about how we are positioned to make good on that potential.

Until recently, California state government has lacked an overarching business driven information technology strategy.  Most information technology initiatives, even the most successful ones, were developed by departments without any internal or external consideration of other initiatives.  The state’s basic information technology infrastructure was also developed this way, dilating the financial and technical capability needed to perform the most fundamental information technology functions such as email, data sharing, and system redundancy.  This has created a technology environment that makes it difficult to adequately manage the state’s valuable resources and assets.

Delivering the Baseline: The Statewide IT Survey

In an effort to understand and baseline the state’s IT assets, the OCIO conducted a statewide survey in May 2008.  The survey obtained information about how IT organizations across the state and how they use technology to deliver services.  This survey included questions on IT infrastructure, as well as use of mainframes, servers, storage, e-mail services and technical environments.  The complete results of the survey can be viewed on the OCIO website at www.cio.ca.gov.

Survey Highlights

Top Line Information

The State has operating expenditures of more than $3 billion annually with 130 individuals serving as CIOs or an equivalent function within state agencies.


The State has approximately 409,000 sq. ft. of floor space in 405 locations dedicated to data centers and server rooms. The State owns and operates 9,494 servers.


The State of California has more than 100 different e-mail systems which support approximately 180,000 mailboxes.


There are a reported 8,009 statewide IT staff out of 217,418 general staff. The OCIO believes there are closer to 10,000 IT staff based on personnel data from the DPA.



  1. 200,000 + State Owned Mobile Phones
  2. 17,300+ PDAs
  3. 383,000 Phones
  4. 71 Call Centers
  5. 227,000 miles of cable

WEB 2.0

  1. Over 9,000 servers
  2. Over 1,500 web servers
  3. 3 Million + unique web pages
  4. 1.8 million page view per month at www.ca.gov

Green IT

  1. 4.2 megawatts of on-site green electrical generation installed in California projects since 2006
  2. 37% growth in State installation of photo voltaic panels in 2008
  3. 75% + desktop and laptop machines Energy Star compliant
  4. 402,500 Tons – estimated air pollution reduction if state employees telework one day/week


Expanding upon the Baseline: The IT Capital Plan

To forge ahead with the integration of the business and IT functions in California state government, beginning in Fiscal Year 2008-09 state agencies submitted their first five-year IT capital plans to the OCIO and the Department of Finance.  Cabinet Secretaries or their equals were asked to approve these plans.  These documents will form a Statewide Five-Year IT Capital Plan that will be released in January 2009.  

In its first iteration, the agency IT capital plans also provide the OCIO with a view of all reportable projects and IT investments (including infrastructure changes) that are being proposed by agencies and departments over the next five years.

Collecting the information on what the planned IT activities will be for a five-year period will provide policy makers, business, and IT leaders with a clear picture of how technology is used and is planned to be used in the future.  The Statewide IT Capital Plan will establish the foundation for ensuring that all IT investments support state and agency priorities, business direction, and alignment of IT investments within enterprise architecture.  This plan will give the state the ability to pursue a strategic direction that meets current and future needs.